Instagram gears up for longer video content
Instagram is looking to replicate a Snapchat feature to capitalize on
viewers’ growing hunger for videos.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Instagram will launch a
long-form vertical video feature on June 20, enabling users to post up
videos up to an hour long.
The decision to launch long-form video comes about two years after the
launch of Instagram Stories, a feature that allows users to share photos
and multiple short videos of up to 15 seconds uploaded within a 24-hour
time-span. Instagram Stories is now one of the app’s most popular and
fastest-growing features, according to the company, with about 300 million
The longer video option on Instagram aligns with recent moves by Facebook
to make video a bigger focus of its offerings. This push has given Facebook
an entree into additional video advertising, which sells at higher rates
than other kinds of digital advertising.
These long-form videos will be visible on the authors’ profiles, near the
Stories Highlights bubbles, but will only allow for pre-made video uploads.
Creators will not be able to shoot and post long-form.
The move would make Instagram even more enticing as it vies with
competitors such as Snapchat and YouTube.
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In 2016, Instagram launched “Stories,” a feature that emulated Snapchat’s
layout. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, offers Facebook Live, an
alternative to YouTube’s pre-recorded and live-streamed videos.
The Instagram feature won’t just offer the average user a chance to upload
longer videos, though. Instead, it’s aimed at competing more with
Snapchat’s Discover section, offering social media influencers and
marketing partners a place to post the videos they produce.
According to multiple sources, Instagram will offer a dedicated space
featuring scripted shows, music videos and more in vertically oriented,
full-screen, high-def 4K resolution. Instagram has been meeting with
popular social media stars and content publishers to find out how their
video channels elsewhere would work within its app. It’s also lining up
launch partners for an announcement of the long-form video effort
tentatively scheduled for June 20th.
… [T]he feature is more focused on the kind of videos you see from
YouTube creators. These often range from five to 15 minutes in length, shot with
nice cameras and lighting but not some massive Hollywood movie production
Those that partner with Instagram for the feature might find it lucrative,
Instagram intends to eventually let creators and publishers earn money off
the longer videos, though it hasn’t finalized how accompanying ads like
pre-rolls and mid-breaks or revenue splits would work. It is not paying
creators up-front for shows like Facebook Watch, either. But the videos
will each feature a swipe-up option to open a link, which creators can use
to drive traffic to their websites, e-commerce stores or event ticketing.
Thanks to Instagram’s 800 million-plus users, the video section could be a
powerful marketing tool beyond generating cash for creators directly.
The proposed Instagram feature also highlights video’s emergence as an
integral part of successful digital PR and marketing strategies—both to the
creators of the videos and to the social media platforms that host them.
The Wall Street Journal
The audience for original digital video, defined by the Interactive
Advertising Bureau as ad-supported, professionally produced and distributed
digitally, has grown substantially in recent years.
An IAB report
estimated earlier this year that the audience among U.S. adults has
expanded from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018, or by 60%.
A recent Pew Research study revealed that teenagers are ditchingFacebook
for YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, meaning Facebook must turn to its
mobile-app acquisition to recoup some of its lost users’ attention—and
Regardless of where these longer videos appear on the platform, it would be
a big shift for Instagram. It wouldn’t, however, be a massively surprising
one given Instagram is part of Facebook.
In recent months, Zuckerberg’s company has been pushing longer native
videos on Facebook itself, perhaps in part because the ad revenue is so
lucrative. But as teens
abandon Facebook in huge numbers
and continue to rely on YouTube for their long-form video it’s likely that
this approach is not proving to be as financially rewarding as Facebook may
How does this news change your social media and content marketing
strategies, PR Daily readers?