How does the latest Instagram Reels update impact social analytics?

By Nick Cicero

August 2, 2022

Meta has made changes to Instagram videos that will affect nearly every social media manager. In Meta’s effort to make Reels the dominate content format of the new generation, all videos under 15 minutes will now be categorized as a Reel. This change, made in direct response to TikTok’s booming popularity, has serious impact for everyone managing a brand presence on Instagram. With this new update, we can expect that the video metrics Instagram provides will change to align with the Reels metrics available.

What Instagram Reels metrics are changing?

For all videos under 15 minutes, the metrics below will no longer be provided by Instagram:

  • Impressions – Instagram videos under 15 minutes will only report the unique viewers (reach). Impressions should still be provided for albums with videos.
  • Video Views – The 3-second video view will no longer be provided for videos less than 15 minutes long.

To replace those metrics, Instagram will offer these insights that align with the current metrics available for Reels:

  • Plays – This is the number of times a Reel starts to play. It is defined as video sessions with 1 millisecond or more of playback and excludes replays. This metric is most comparable to impressions as a metric.
  • Reach – This is the number of unique accounts that have generated at least one play on a Reel. Reach is different from impressions, which can include multiple plays of a Reel by the same account.

For other Instagram Reels metrics read our updated guide to Instagram Reels Analytics.

How will this impact my Instagram video analytics with third-party analytics providers?

Once your Instagram account receives the new update, your analytics providers, will automatically ingest those re-categorized videos as Reels and provide the new Reels metrics for those videos. You will no longer see Impressions or Video Views for those video assets under 15-minutes moving forward in Instagram.

Why is Instagram focusing on Reels?

With stiff competition from TikTok, it’s understandable that Instagram is looking for ways to replicate that full screen, fully engaged video experience that has helped TikTok dominate.

Across social, video has become the dominant format. And while these changes aren’t a seismic shift in Instagram’s platform, they do signify a larger shift towards video and away from Instagram’s original format of choice: photos.

These changes do not come without controversy. Across the web, celebrities, influencers, and everyday users have called out Instagram for deviating from the original principles behind the app: sharing photos with friends. Combined with Meta’s AI serving up more and more recommended content over content from the accounts we follow, it’s unclear how this shift in focus will impact Instagram users in the long run.

Should my brand make Instagram Reels?

Yes, now is the perfect time for individuals and brands to lean into Reels. With Reel’s new priority within the Instagram feed algorithm your account will generate more reach and engagement using Reels than other content formats at this time. Our recommendation: don’t be afraid to try something new. Experiment with new formats, themes, and ideas you might not have tried before. With Reels, it’s not about going viral, it’s about finding the right mix of topics and styles that your audience enjoys to help boost your engagement and grow your audience.

For tips on how to create high performing Reels be sure to check out our Updated Guide to Instagram Reels.

Where can I find Instagram Reels Metrics?


Instagram Reels analytics can always be found inside the Insights menu within your Instagram app. Analytics can also be found using any third-party analytics tool that has appropriate API access such as Conviva Social Insights. Conviva Social Insights allows you to measure your Instagram Reels next to your TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and more. Analyze your Reels videos individually or group them together with other social platforms as part of an ongoing cross-platform measurement social strategy.

Here are some questions to ask your social analytics software provider to better prepare your brand for this Instagram update:


1. How will this Instagram’s Reels update affect Social Campaign KPIs?

Impressions are an important measurement for many cross-platform campaign and if that is something you track, you need to be aware that this update will impact that. When analyzing campaign performance please note that Instagram videos will only include Impressions from the first half of the year and will no longer include impressions gained from videos under 15 minutes moving forward. Instagram posts will still share impressions as a metric moving forward.


2. Will I have analytics for Reels posted before July?

One of the biggest problems for social media managers prior to the reveal of the Instagram Reels API was that metrics for Reels were absent from any third-party analytics reporting. If you want to see performance for Reels posted before July 2022 you’ll need to ask your analytics provider if they plan to back-fill these metrics. At Conviva, we automatically backfill all Reels videos to Jan 1, 2022.

For Conviva customers, any further questions can be addressed with your Customer Success Team.

To start analyzing your Instagram Reels today, request a free trial here.