Instagram recently increased the limit on users’ video clips from 15 seconds to a minute, and now it’s offering an improved way to search and view that content.
The changes, rolled out Thursday for iOS and Android, are seen in the app’s Explore tab, which now includes a “videos you might like” section that “collects videos from across Instagram’s global community into a seamless viewing experience.” In addition, when you scroll down the Explore grid, you’ll also see “featured” channels with videos on specific topics. When opened, they cleverly auto-play one video after another without looping to create a lean-back viewing experience. That’s quite similar to the recent Snapchat auto-advance update and the Watch button on Vine that launched yesterday. The Coachella channel was among the first big efforts to take advantage of the new feature. Throughout the festival the channel was updated with behind-the-scenes footage including the festival through the eyes of its performing acts.
Instagram’s recent efforts to boost the presence of video on its service should help it to rake in more revenue from brands. If Instagram can ingratiate users to watching organic videos, it could make video ads easier to swallow. And by giving top creators higher views counts, which it recently started showing, it can recruit more of them to its platform, drawing in their fan bases who will inevitably see ads.
- Have you already experienced this new feature? What do you think of the change on the explore tab?
- Do you think this new feature is a challenge to Snapchat and its Live Stories? Do you see yourself reaching out to Instagram for this type of video content rather than Snapchat?Do you think it could also compete with Twitter with video news?
- Do you think Instagram will start putting video ads in the new channels or let brands pay to create their own sponsored channels?