Instagram refuses to introduce longer video formats: for what reasons?

Instagram: Long videos are not on the agenda

In a short video posted on his personal account, Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, indicates that long videos are not part of the development axes envisaged by the platform. The executive considers that short videos correspond better to the two central objectives of Instagram: to allow to explore new centers of interest and to connect with his friends. Interactions facilitated by sharing in private messages: “You see a video of a comedian who makes you laugh out loud and you send it to someone who will laugh as hard as you. Or, I see a video of an amazing goal and I send it to a friend who is as passionate about football as I am.”.

Long-form video is less aligned with both of those goals. If you watch a 10- or 20-minute video, you see less of your friends’ content, you interact less with your friends, and you’re less likely to send that video to a friend, Mosseri says.

According to the head of Instagram, the investment in long-form video could thus compromise “the fundamental identity” of the application.

A post shared by Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)

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Instagram asserts itself as a social network

On Reels, Instagram’s flagship video format, the length of content has gradually increased, going from 15 seconds in 2020 to 10 minutes currently. With this evolution, Instagram has adapted its strategy to that of its competitor TikTok. However, while the ByteDance firm is currently testing hour-long videos to compete with YouTube, Instagram prefers to move in another direction.

And for good reason: unlike TikTok, which defines itself as an entertainment app, Instagram continues to position itself as a social network in its own right. Hence Adam Mosseri’s desire to “connecting people to their friends” through short videos. In this perspective, the leader recently announced an update of the algorithm. From now on, the number of shares of a content in private message plays a key role in its referencing. In addition, a share counter has been added under the publications and the Reels.