Instagram test turns all video posts into roles

Looks like Meta is really making a big push for Reels. Social media consultant Matt Navarra posted a screenshot on Twitter with a notification for an experimental Instagram feature saying that all video posts would be shared as roles in the app. If your account is public, it means anyone can discover your video and use your original audio to create their own Reel. Only friends can see your video if your profile is private, but other users can still remix with your Reel and download it as part of their remix. The only way to make sure no one is using your Reel for remixing is to disable or uncheck the option in Settings for every video you post.

As TechCrunch notes, this move comes as no surprise as the TikTok-esque videos have quickly become a popular format on both Instagram and Facebook. Revealing the company’s fourth quarter report for 2021, Mark Zuckerberg said Reels is now Meta’s fastest-growing content format. Meta chief product officer Chris Cox also called Reels a “bright spot” for the company, in a recent memo shared with employees warning them of “serious times” ahead due to slowing growth. He also said that one of the projects Meta plans to focus on in the second half of 2022 is to monetize Reels as quickly as possible.

Apparently, the time spent watching the short videos has more than doubled since last year, with 80 percent of that growth coming from Facebook. That’s why the company is even redesigning the homepages of Instagram and Facebook to better integrate the short videos. Converting all video posts into roles would allow the company to circulate more content, which in turn would translate into more time to watch videos on the platform and greater potential ad revenue for when the format finally monetizes. That said, not all experimental Instagram features make it to wide release, and it remains to be seen whether it will survive the testing phase.

All products recommended by Engadget have been selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.