It was yet another important day for Facebook when it announced the launch of videos on Instagram, a direct rival to Twitter’s video app that it had acquired earlier in the year, Vine. The move not only shows Facebook’s efforts to augment its mobile offer but is also another indicator of the expected rise in consumption of video content. From a Facebook viewpoint, Instagram videos will become another avenue to attract brands.
Recently, Facebook has taken some interesting steps in that direction by announcing verified brand pages and introducing hashtags to its conversations, which brands have begun to see as an effective tool around their campaigns on social platform Twitter.
The other thing Instagram video does is accentuate the competitive relation between Facebook and Twitter, which for some is moving from the open and collaborative social world that has place for everyone, to a typical fight for market share.
A compelling offer
For professionals in the digital world, Instagram’s move is in the right direction because it would be one more real estate for brands looking to connect with specific target audiences. With Facebook as the backbone, videos on Instagram can be shared on Twitter, foursquare and own blogs or websites, giving it a better reach and integration than other social networks. Vine for instance can be shared only on Twitter and Facebook. Not to mention, Vine has 13 million users and Instagram has 100 million users, up from 20 million when Facebook bought the company more than a year ago.
Instagram’s Co-Founder Kevin Systrom explained in the company blog: “Video on Instagram is another way to share your stories. When you go to take a photo on Instagram, you’ll now see a movie camera icon. Tap it to enter video mode, where you can take up to 15 seconds of video through the Instagram camera. You’ll also find that we’ve added 13 filters built specifically for video so you can keep sharing beautiful content on Instagram.”
What is working, what is not?
Instagram has ensured a very simple way to create the videos and allows the user to delete up to the last clip giving comparatively more control than Vine does. It allows for a 15-seconds video, where Vine allows only six seconds. When a video is posted, a user can select the scene from the recording as cover image so the video looks presentable even when not playing. The option to share has been built with more platforms that Vine does.
On the flip side, there would be users who would not like videos on their feeds. Can Instagram video adversely affect Instagram photos is another area to watch out for.
That said, over the last two and half years, brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola have already created significant communities on Instagram. After just a few hours of announcement, others such as General Electricals, Red Vine, Burberry and media channels such as MSNBC were also experimenting on Instagram with videos.
Facebook is working towards creating all avenues that it has seen users adopt to, and brands experiment with, under its umbrella. By creating these multiple options for a brand, Facebook is essentially creating a network equivalent that can offer advertising solutions to marketers on different platforms, bringing a mainstream approach to its media selling. Whether these initiatives will eventually work out as Facebook plans, is a different conversation.