Instagram Reels are short video clips feature that was introduced in 2020. Instagram rolled out the feature to compete with the Chinese short video app TikTok. Recently, TikTok expanded video duration to 3 minutes.
The new 60 second long Reels videos are available to all Instagram users starting July 27. The company announced it via a post on Twitter. “Reels. up to 60 secs. starting today,” reads the tweet.
Reels. up to 60 secs. starting today. https://t.co/pKWIqtoXU2
— Instagram (@instagram) 1627398491000
Instagram rolls out new safety features for teens
Separately, in a blog post, Instagram announced three major changes to the accounts of Instagram users who are below 16 years of age. “Creating an experience on Instagram that’s safe and private for young people, but also fun comes with competing challenges. We want them to easily make new friends and keep up with their family, but we don’t want them to deal with unwanted DMs or comments from strangers,” it wrote in the blog post. The changes include
- Defaulting young people into private accounts.
- Making it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people.
- Limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.
Starting this week, accounts of every new user who joins Instagram and is under 16 years of age will be private accounts by default. The age, the company says, could be 18 years in some countries. For those who already have an account, Instagram will notify them about the benefits of a private account.
A private account is considered more secure as only the users’ followers can see their posts, Stories and Reels. Posts of private accounts can also not be seen in Explore and hashtag sections, therefore makes them secure from unwanted comments or likes.
Instagram says to have developed a technology that will allow them to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behavior and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts. The “potentially suspicious behavior” includes accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person. Using this technology, Instagram will not show young people’s accounts in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested For You’ to these adults.
The company has also tweaked how advertisers can reach young people with ads. It will now allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location. The changes, it says, will be applicable in coming weeks and will apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.