Instagram reportedly making Reels longer to take on TikTok and YouTube

The length limit could be expanding from three minutes to 10 minutes.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

It looks like Instagram is about to significantly increase the maximum length of Reels posts, according to reputable mobile developer and leaker Alessandro Paluzzi. The current hard limit for these videos is three minutes, but screenshots provided by Paluzzi indicate a forthcoming leap to 10 minutes. This would effectively transform the social media site into a more robust video-sharing platform like YouTube.

This move would also allow Meta’s Instagram to further compete with rival TikTok, as the latter already lets users post videos up to ten minutes in length. TikTok and Instagram seem to be caught in some sort of ouroboros of mimicry, with one app regularly adopting features originally unveiled by the other.

As TikTok and Instagram vie for a share of the long-form video pie, YouTube’s moving in the opposite direction. It’s been making a push to gain more ground in the short-form video space, recently adding a suite of creator tools and a TikTok-esque music-discovery feed. The days when you could easily label Instagram as the “photo one”, TikTok as the “short video one” and YouTube as the “long video one” are gone. It looks like they all want to be “does everything one.”

Engadget reached out to Meta for clarification regarding the move toward long-form video content. The company confirmed that the leaked images are real but that they represent an "internal prototype" that's not being tested externally.

Update, August 30th, 2023, 1:36 PM ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Meta.