Instagram was once the place for photo enthusiasts to share beautiful photos, then it went pop—allowing the average person to ‘flex,’ post countless ‘selfies’ and detail what they are having for dinner. Recently Instagram introduced a video feature to the app, which was met with great reception, as users uploaded 5 million videos on first day it was introduced. However, Instagram’s video feature only allowed users to shoot videos within the app, limiting people to do their best with basic recording functions without editing capabilities. All that is about to change.
The Facebook-owned company has released an update for the app on iOS and Android that makes Instagram video uploads possible. This means that users will be able to shoot videos with any camera they choose, add edits using other software, then share it with all their Instagram followers—provided they are 15 seconds or less in duration.
This will be a game changer for most people, especially in the quality of Instagram videos, yet not everyone thinks this is a good thing for the average user. According to techcrunch.com:
“Uploads will turn Instagram Video into a more serious art form but not necessarily a more unique one. The limitations of shooting videos in-app forced directors on Instagram and Vine to be creative and experiment. Now as long as it’s shorter than 15-seconds, they can post whatever they want to Instagram. They could patch together highlights of their old work, promos for their new stuff, or remix someone’s ripped YouTube video.”
The article’s author, Josh Costine is also worried that advertisers will now dominate the platform, stating:
“And video uploads this will fling open the door to brands. Many were likely shy about conveying their brand through low-production value clips. Now they can have big agencies ship them clips to publish. Many suspect video to become an advertising medium for Instagram, especially since the 15-second length matches that of shorter TV commercials. This option would equip advertisers to directly load in their TV spots without help from Instagram or Facebook.”
These are valid concerns, but I think they’re more brought on by a fear of change, than what will actually happen. Will there be more professional videos? Absolutely! But that ability will also be put in the hands of the average user as well, and with video editing software becoming easier and cheaper to use, we could actually see a revolution occur on videotape. Not to mention that people on these platforms are more interested in seeing what their friends are doing and promoting themselves, they’re interested in content first. The quality is secondary.
As for the advertisers, it will be interesting to see how Instagram and Facebook manage that process, especially since Facebook is rumored to be offering a 15-second TV-like ad product in the near future. Yet from the user’s perspective, I think big brands know better than to spam their follows with unwanted ads, as the ‘unfollow’ feature is only a click away.