Instagram is expanding its 90-second Reels test to more users and some users are now seeing the ability to make Reels up to a minute and a half long, as seen in this example from Jonah Manzano, giving them an extra 30 seconds on top of the current 60-second maximum.
Longer Reels were first tested in February, and various users have subsequently seen the option appear in the app. Instagram stated that it is currently in testing, with no formal plans for a wider rollout. Instagram is actively reorganizing its video capabilities around the Reels format, with Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stating in December that:
“We’re going to double-down on our focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels”
When Instagram announced the broader integration of its video capabilities in October, it removed the IGTV name, and it makes sense for the platform to make Reels longer to better blend its different video products into a one content stream. It's also worth mentioning that, according to Meta's most recent earnings call, Reels currently accounts for more than 20% of total Instagram time, demonstrating the format's success despite being a blatant duplicate of TikTok.
The next step will be to shorten all video uploads (users may still upload video snippets up to an hour long through the post composer), which will bring everything into better alignment and allow Instagram to go forward with its content shift.
Moreover, Instagram removed its in-stream video ad placements option earlier this month, which fits in with the company's broader push to compress video content and convert all of its content into a full-screen, immersive, TikTok-like feed, aligning with emerging habitual behaviors.
Longer Reels is another step in this direction, and while it is not yet available to everyone, it will be gradually made available to more users over time.