“As people share more videos than ever before, we’re making it easier to discover the ones you’ll love.”
Last year, Cisco predicted that video would account for a whopping 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2019 and that in every second of 2019, nearly a million minutes of video would be uploaded to the internet. This prediction is currently coming to fruition as social platforms old and new are tripping over themselves to integrate video options. A plethora of new live streaming portals have been born. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube either have, or will have, their own live streaming options. Digital video is on the rise as time spent with the television decreases. All of these factors are contributing to proving Cisco right; and Instagram just added more fuel to that fire.
In a recent blog post, the image-driven social network announced changes to its “Explore” section in which video channels will be integrated. In the statement the company noted, “To begin, you’ll find a personalized channel called “Videos You Might Like” that collects videos from across Instagram’s global community into a seamless viewing experience. And as you scroll through the Explore grid, you may also see “Featured” channels filled with videos on specific topics.”
This alteration comes hot on the heels of Instagram inciting Internet riots where users nearly threw trash can icons through digital storefronts due to the social network’s decision to implement a new algorithm to dictate user feeds. As of now, the new feature is only available for Instagram 7.20 owners who reside in the United States. The company does have plans, however, to roll the update out globally in the near future. It is owned by Facebook now, folks; so let the algorithms begin.
Let’s check out how this new video district works, and what it might mean for small business owners.
Instagram Featured Videos
If you are already in possession of the latest version of the social sharing application, you can simply tap ‘Videos You Might Like.’ This is a collection of videos spanning the global Instagram community that includes digital media that aligns with a user’s interests. Additionally, a ‘Featured’ section exists to separate videos into specific topics. Much like the soon-to-be feed-based algorithm, the featured column will adjust to user preferences over time in an effort to become more relevant to various individuals.
While watching videos in this section, tapping on the screen will provide users with a few options; users can select to go to the original post or send it to a friend. Additionally, the “…” icon in the top right corner of the video will allow users to report inappropriate content or to see fewer videos like the one displayed to help better curate the content fed through the portal.
Instagram notes, “The more you like, the better Explore gets, adjusting to your preferences and showing you more of the stuff you enjoy.”
Coachella is one of the first brands to push this new feature, showcasing the most captivating moments, behind the scenes insights, and other unique content captured at the recent music festival.
While the new component of the Explore tab is quite exciting to many, Instagram insists that the change is minimal by stating, “Even with these changes, Explore still works the same way: It connects you to posts about your interests from people you don’t yet follow.”
Will Instagram Become a Video Platform?
One of the biggest reasons for Instagram’s latest video offering is quite clear: Instagram is Facebook’s new darling. As of late, Facebook has been pushing its Live broadcasting feature extremely hard as it tries to compete with the other popular platforms. Facebook clearly understands the value that video has now and will have in the future. And this understanding is beginning to bleed over into Instagram.
Instagram originally introduced video back in 2013, but it wasn’t until recently that the millennial-driven channel began to add to its dynamic media features. Back in February, Instagram announced it would be rolling out video view counts. In March, the social network revealed its plan to lengthen the allowed recording time of videos from 15 seconds to 60. The power of video is becoming quite undeniable to Instagram — video consumption on the platform has risen a whopping 40 percent in the last six months. It would come as no surprise if five years from now Instagram has transformed into a predominantly video-based platform. That is, providing it still exists. The Web is a very finicky and unpredictable space.
Updates like these point to one undeniable truth: Video is the king of content. Every major social network is getting in on video and users are engaging like crazy. The only ones who are currently losing in the midst of this video content “gold rush” are those who are not participating. Video, especially the live streaming and short form varieties, has a way of capturing the emotion and imagination of viewers. Written and visual content isn’t dying, it’s just taking a very obvious back seat.
If you are seeking to generate brand awareness, engagement, consumer loyalty, sales, leads, and reach, video is the content your business should be producing. And with the capabilities of today’s Smartphones and applications, creating video content is extremely cheap, and in some cases, completely free to generate. Now you can add Instagram to your list of platforms when you’re ready to launch your next video for all to see.
Do you think that it is possible that all social platforms will be predominantly video-based in the near future?