Instagram now has ‘featured’ video channels


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.

Instagram’s ‘Explore’ grid now shows extra love to video

  1. Have you already experienced this new feature? What do you think of the change on the explore tab?
  2. 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?
  3.  Do you think Instagram will start putting video ads in the new channels or let brands pay to create their own sponsored channels?




Battle Heats Up Over Mobile Ad Blocking


A panel discussion about ad-blocking at Mobile World Congress showed just how high the tension is getting between advertisers, tech companies and ad blockers.Speaking to a packed room full of marketers, execs from Google, Shine, Nestle, AOL and Yahoo talked about why consumers use mobile ad blockers and what marketers can do to improve the quality of online ads. Much of the talk specifically revolved around mobile ad blocker Shine and how it is working with carriers to remove ads.

Ad blocking software use grew 41 percent in the 12 months to August 2015 and there are now 198 million active adblock users around the world. Ad blocking was estimated to cost advertisers $22 billion last year. Ad-blocking has gained the support of some major technology like Apple, that announced last year that Safari on iOS 9 would have ad-blocking capabilities. Meanwhile, several mobile operators like European carriers Three UK and Three Italia said they would adopt network-level ad blocking using technology from Shine. Google and Yahoo, that power millions of digital ads publishers rely on to make money, have accused ad-blocking software Shine of destroying the relationship between advertisers and consumers, after an executive from the company called its solution a “nuclear weapon” threatening the industry and punishing good advertising.

Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer at Shine, said during the panel that Shine is the “single biggest threat to online advertising” because it gives consumers the opportunity to not be “abused by ad tech.” He added that Shine’s sweeping blocking practice offers the ad industry an opportunity for improvement. “We are not against advertising, we are motivated to protect consumers” he said.


Ad blocking is a huge threat for publishers  but we also have to be sensitive to consumers. What could be a win-win solution? Do you think better targeted advertising would solve the problem? Can marketers stop ad blocking by offering free data?