Instagram: More Than Lattes, Selfies and Sunsets?

June 27, 2013
Fifteen second videos, 13 new filters and a ‘Cinema’ feature. These are the upgrades to Instagram that quickly transformed the beloved photo-sharing app into a video-sharing phenomenon. According to TechCrunch, Instagrammers have shared 16 billion photos to date, and PC Magazine reports that within 24 hours of Thursday’s announcement, the app saw over 5 million video uploads. 

The update is more than just videos with filters; it opens up a completely fresh opportunity for brands and news organizations. It’s the biggest change Instagram’s made since its debut nearly three years ago. Facebook is already the second most popular place to watch video on the web; and with Instagram’s latest announcement, a writer for FoxBusiness thinks Instagram could hold the key to inspiring a new digital age.

What makes Instagram so special to Facebook’s overall strategy, you ask?

15 Seconds.

Yep, simply a number. Fifteen seconds could be the ticket to the video-sharing app’s success. TV has been using it for years, and it just so happens 15 seconds is the standard Internet video ad time. (Via Digital Trends) Advertisers are comfortable with the number 15, making Facebook’s announcement all the more appealing.

The social media giant has been looking to introduce TV-style ads placed directly within your news feed for a while now. Original reports suggested we would see these ads in the first half of 2013. According to AdAge, however, these ad formats have again been delayed until later this fall.

What’s the holdup? A writer for Marketing Week suggests the launch of Instagram videos serve as a test to see how users feel about video showing up on their newsfeeds. Only time will tell, so be sure to stay tuned on that one.

Still, we have to wonder if the new Instagram Video has more to offer than applying motion to your best friend’s food-igrams and doubling as an appealing advertising platform.

A writer for ABC suggests Instagram Video could also have big implications for news organizations. Photos shared on Instagram have already impacted the news cycle. The most notable impression may have been during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This quickly became one of the most Instagrammed news events to date--more than 800,000 photos were posted. (Via Poynter) These still photos have already proven to enhance the storytelling aspect for journalists, so we can only imagine the impact video will have.

Video is not a new concept. We’ve already seen this action with Twitter’s Vine app, but Instagram’s video filters and camera stabilization feature have the potential to add the professional touch that are missing from Vine. What’s the big picture here? In an interview, founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, told ABC, “It allows for a transparency that hasn't been there before.” So whether you're a brand, journalist, or average joe, let us know how you plan to use the latest update. And don’t forget to share your photos and videos with us on Instagram @newsyvideos!