Instagram is rolling out the ability for users to upload longer uninterrupted Stories, the social network confirmed to TechCrunch on Friday. Now, when you post a Story that’s under 60 seconds in length, it won’t be broken up into segments. The company began testing the change with select users late last year and has now rolled it out to all users worldwide.
“We are always working on ways to improve the Stories experience,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch in email. “Now, you’ll be able to play and create Stories continuously for up to 60 seconds, instead of being automatically cut into 15 second clips.”
The new change is a welcome addition to the app, likely for both users and viewers. Users will now be able to post uninterrupted Stories that won’t be broken up, and on the other hand, viewers will no longer have to continually tap to get through a long video that they may not actually want to see. But, the change could also be a turnoff for people who liked the simplicity of short, bite-sized Stories.
In addition, the ability to post longer uninterrupted Stories somewhat blurs the lines between Stories and Reels, as you now have two options when it comes to posting a 60-second video.
As Instagram pivots to video, the social network has been increasing the time limits on its video products. In June, the company added support for longer Instagram Reels of up to 90 seconds, up from the previous 60 second-limit. Instagram also recently made a system change that sees new video posts that are shorter than 15 minutes being automatically shared as Reels.
The changes to Instagram’s video features aren’t exactly surprising, considering that when Instagram head Adam Mosseri laid out Instagram’s priorities for 2022, he said the company would double down on video. He even hinted that Instagram would consolidate all of its video products around Reels and continue to grow the short-form product, which indicates that we may see the lines between Stories and Reels being blurred even further.
All of this comes as Instagram has been chasing TikTok and even went so far as rolling out a TikTok-like full-screen feed that users ended up hating so much that they essentially forced the social network to walk back the controversial change. But, that doesn’t mean Instagram is going to stop prioritizing video, as the recent change to Stories indicates that the social network is still pretty adamant about being a video-focused platform.