At a Facebook press conference last night, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom finally introduced new video features to the popular photo-sharing network. Along with the growing popularity of Twitter’s video app Vine, the news further reinforces short video sharing as a growing trend in social media.
With 130 million active users on Instagram already, the addition of video poses formidable competition for Vine. For brands, the new feature is another medium they can use to reach their audience. Dove, adidas, and Urban Outfitters have already embraced short-video sharing, using video sharing apps including Vine and Cinegram.
Here are our three takeaways from the press conference:
Instagram waited until mobile devices were ready
Instagram is about being able to showcase beautiful content. Values such as ‘speed, simplicity and beauty’ are at the centre of Instagram’s offering. Systrom expressed that mobile devices were not previously able to showcase video in a fast, simple and beautiful way. With faster internet connections and increasing smartphone usage across the region, the time is right for video on Instagram.
Instagram makes it easy for users to tell personal stories
After downloading the new version of the app on an iPhone or Android, users can record videos up to 15 seconds long. Basic video edits can be made by by holding and letting go of the record button. Users can also backtrack and delete sections to create interesting montages and cuts and then choose a frame from the video to be the cover photo or ‘video thumbnail’ of their Instagram feed.
Instagram ensures video-creation is beautiful
Users can add one of 13 filters, just like with Instagram photos, and decide the best filter by switching between them before sharing. Unlike Vine, Instagram offers intuitive image stabilisation, keeping videos smooth and of a high standard. This will be crucial for brands looking to share their stories on the platform.
Stephenie Ho is digital manager, Australia, at Weber Shandwick