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Unpacking Instagram's Latest Reel Length Dilemma: Quality vs. Quantity

By: Kimberly Von Feldt

If your team has been pouring their heart and soul into crafting epic full-length Instagram Reels, you might want to rethink that strategy. Longer Reels could actually be hurting your performance. Yes, you read that right. In the age of binge-watching series on Netflix and devouring endless TikTok videos, it turns out shorter might be sweeter — at least on Instagram. As a full-service social media agency, is here to break down this development and provide insights into how you can navigate the change. Read on for our professional perspective and expert tips!

Quality Over Quantity

As stated by Instagram's content team, Reels exceeding 90 seconds may be deprioritized in users' feeds, emphasizing the platform's focus on concise and engaging content. While longer Reels may offer more valuable information, they risk losing viewers' interest and diluting your message. Instead, aim for high-quality, engaging videos that resonate with your audience through concise storytelling, captivating visuals, and clear calls to action, ideally within 15-30 seconds. Just because shorter Reels are favored doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality for brevity. Think about how viral moments happen: a quick commute home on the tube, a snippet of your dog being ridiculously cute, a Full House, or hopping on the 2023 Barbie trend. These are the golden nuggets that keep people coming back for more. It's all about packing a punch in those precious few seconds — like trying to win a rap battle with one-liners.

Strategies for Success

Adapting to Instagram's latest update requires a strategic approach. Consider the following tactics to optimize your Reel performance:

  1. Be Concise: Keep Reels succinct and to the point, capturing viewers' attention from the outset.

  2. Showcase Creativity: Experiment with innovative formats, effects, and editing techniques to stand out from the crowd.

  3. Prioritize Engagement: Encourage interaction through prompts, questions, and user-generated content to foster a sense of community.

  4. Stay Consistent: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience coming back for more — thus ensuring visibility on the platform.

Navigating the Changes

As Instagram continues to refine its algorithm, staying informed and adaptable is essential. Monitor your Reel performance closely and analyze metrics such as views, likes, comments, shares, saves, reach, and impressions to gauge audience response. Experiment with different content lengths and formats to identify what resonates best with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly. In this fast-paced digital age it's clear that when it comes to Reels, less is more. So the next time you’re planning a Reel, channel your inner TikTok star, keep it snappy, and watch the engagement roll in. After all: In the words of the great philosopher of our time, Cardi B, “Make it pop like a cork.”

Instagram's latest update underscores the importance of keeping up with algorithmic changes and maximizing performance on the platform. Lucky for you, is committed to helping your brand navigate these changes on Instagram — and elsewhere. Come back here for more insights and updates as we continue to adapt to the evolving social media landscape. Interested in figuring out how to make your brand thrive? Get in touch with us today! Community Manager and Content Creator, Kimberly Von Feldt, is a California-born, Indiana-bred, Coloradan adventurer. In her free time, she volunteers for wildlife conservation and enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring different cultures and cuisines, using her diverse experiences to inspire curiosity and creativity in everything she does.



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