Instagram announced the new feature via a meme posted on its official Twitter showing the progression of Reels, starting with no Reels and progressing to the new time limit.
The extension to the length of Reels can be attributed to the growing interest for videos among Instagram users. The new update also allows users to add captions sticker on Reels, which transcribes audio to text. However, the caption sticker is currently available in a handful of English-speaking countries only.
Another short video sharing platform, TikTok also updated the length of its videos. The ByteDance owned application now allows users to post videos of up to 3 minutes in length. Instagram Reels was introduced in order to compete with the wild growth in popularity of applications like TikTok.
Instagram users under 16 years old will also start to be defaulted into having a private account when they join the platform, the company said, in an effort to stop unwanted contact from adults. They will still be given the option, however, to switch to a public account and current users can keep their account public.
The company said on Tuesday it was working on an “Instagram experience for tweens.” It has said the idea of a youth-focused app is to provide parents greater transparency and controls on what younger children who want to access Instagram are doing.
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