Instagram Adds Video, Plays Coy On Ads - InformationWeek
Cloud // Software as a Service
06:29 PM
Connect Directly

Instagram Adds Video, Plays Coy On Ads

To outdo Twitter's Vine, Facebook's Instagram offers 15-second recordings.

10 Ways To Fight Email Overload
10 Ways To Fight Email Overload
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Instagram, the hugely popular photo sharing app, on Thursday added video to its media arsenal.

At a press event in Menlo Park, Calif., company co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced Instagram's ability to make video recordings, following an introduction from Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, which bought Systrom's company for about $1 billion last year.

Video on Instagram follows the January debut of Vine, an app that Twitter acquired last year hoping it would become the Instagram of video. Facebook made it clear at the time that it wasn't interested in helping Vine achieve that dream when it blocked Vine from using its "find people" function to find friends with Facebook accounts.

[ Customer outrage changes Microsoft's mind. Read Microsoft Drops Xbox One Internet Requirement. ]

What's the difference between Vine videos and Instagram videos? A mere nine seconds, give or take a few frames: Vine limits videos to six seconds while Instagram restricts them to 15 seconds. Neither length quite qualifies as epic, but 15 seconds is a far more familiar length, one often used for television commercials.

Given Facebook's strong advertising ecosystem, it's not hard to imagine that marketers will be able to do more with Instagram than with Vine. Although little was said about the promotional potential of Instagram videos, fashion brand Burberry is already exploring the possibilities.

In a recent phone interview, Krishna Subramanian, CMO of mobile marketing service Velti, observed, "Advertising is trying to become content." Facebook has been helping advertising make that journey through its branding of online posts as "stories," a term that takes the modifier "sponsored" at times but denies the traditional distinction between editorial and advertising.

Instagram video is a medium that might make that happen, provided 15 seconds of video isn't so much that it hinders the user experience with long network transfer times or burdens Facebook's data centers unnecessarily. When Vine launched, Twitter insisted that six seconds represented the optimal balance between expressiveness and technological limitations.

As it does with images, Instagram filters videos to make ill-lit reality more aesthetically pleasing. There are 13 of these filters, Systrom explains in a blog post, adding that users can select a favorite video scene as a cover image.

There's also a video stabilization feature called Cinema, which is presently available for iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Instagram video recording is available on iPhones running iOS 5+, as well as mobile devices running Android 4.1+.

Instagram claims to have 130 million active monthly users.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll