Instagram is working on extending the maximum length of videos posted on its platform and may soon allow hour-long clips, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the plan. The move would mark a major departure for the Facebook-owned company whose users are still limited to posting videos no longer than a single minute. The new feature is said to in the works with a large focus on vertical videos but many of its specifics are yet to be finalized, with the functionality hence remaining subject to change.
As the project remains in a relatively early stage of development, no launch window target has yet been attached to it, as per the same report. Support for long-form clips may put Instagram on a path of a direct rivalry with YouTube, by far the world's most popular video platform with over 1.5 billion monthly users. The social media service amassed 800 million monthly active users as of last September following a period of intense growth but as it hasn't shared an update on its user base since reaching that milestone, its expansion is understood to have slowed down in the meantime. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, making it its largest acquisition to date that has later only been surpassed by the 2014 purchases of Oculus and WhatsApp for $2 billion and $19 billion, respectively.
Facebook itself is presently pursuing video through its Watch platform, having repeatedly signaled it's looking to take on YouTube. Instagram remains a more visual-oriented medium whose focus on influencers has been increasing in recent times, with the company now working on detailed viewership insights and a variety of other features meant to directly benefit its power users. The latest Instagram update on Android broke the app for many users but Facebook's subsidiary said the issue has been addressed in a matter of hours.