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Instagram tests turning every video into a Reel

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Instagram is testing turning every video on its platform into a ‘Reel’, the short-form video imitation of TikTok’s format.

A screenshot of the Instagram app that Meta, its parent company, seems to be testing tells users that “video posts are now shared as Reels”.

With it comes features such as other people using the original audio from the video to create their own Reel, or ‘remixing’ the Reel, similar to TikTok’s own ‘Duet’ feature.

“We’re testing this feature as part of our efforts to simplify and improve the video experience on Instagram,” a spokesperson from Meta said in an email to TechCrunch.

The only way to ensure that no other user can use a video for a remix is turning the option off in Instagram’s settings menu, or disabling it for every video that is posted.

TikTok-esque videos have been popular on both Facebook and Instagram, making up approximately one fifth of the content consumed on Instagram. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that Reels are the fastest growing content formats on the platforms and chief product officer Chris Cox called them a “bright point” in the company.

Reels will be a greater focus for Meta in the second half of 2022, when the company intends to monetise it more.

Turning all video content into Reels gives Meta more content to circulate and would therefore mean people would spend more time on the platform and consume more advertising.

Last year, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said that the app is “no longer a photo-sharing app” and that most people come to Instagram to be “entertained”.

Mr Mosseri also said that Instagram has “some really serious competition right now… TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well.”

In the wake of that news, Instagram shuttered its long-form video feature IGTV’s and combined it with Instagram Feed videos into the “Instagram Video” format.

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