So it seems a lot has been going on at Facebook towers recently. Only last week we saw the introduction of hashtags and now, Instagram (owned by Facebook incase you weren’t aware) have taken their brand of ‘vintage feel’, visual, content one step further; into video.
Here’s a potted history of Instagram:
- October 2010 – Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger
- January 2011 – Instagram added hashtags, helping users discover both photographs and other users
- September 2011 – Version 2.0 went live in the App Store (iOS).
- April 3, 2012 – Instagram for Android was released
- April 2012 – Over 100 million active users
- April 12, 2012 – Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately $1 billion
- December 17, 2012 – Instagram updated its Terms of Service, granting itself the right to sell users’ photos to third parties without notification or compensation – Following much criticism, this update was quickly retracted
So why video?
As we know, the social web is becoming an evermore visual place. Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm for example, gives specific preference to photo and video content over purely text base posts. It is therefore in many ways, simply the next logical step for the platform.
There is also, a glaringly obvious reason that Instagram have introduced video. And that is Vine.
Vine is, of course, Twitter’s very own video recording app and there will be no prizes for working out that this is clearly an attempt by the top boys at Facebook, to quash Twitter’s efforts to diversify.
Watching the video above and having played around with the new function, there are some obvious similarities with Vine; most notably the ‘hold and record’ style of video capture.
There are, however, some significant differences; in that you can of course apply filters to your video; you can delete unwanted sections of your video as you record; and, most importantly, you are not restricted to 6 seconds of video. Instead you have a whole 15 seconds to play with, which is “the perfect balance between not too short that it restrains your creativity and not too long where you end up having to wait a lot of time for something to download” according to Kevin Systrom
So what does this all mean?
Well firstly, it is becoming quite apparent that Facebook and therefore Instagram are very much trying to reaffirm themselves as the top social platforms for social communities and creative, self expressive UGC.
Unfortunately for Twitter, video on Instagram is indeed a huge hammer blow and may ultimately spell the end of Vine.
Additionally, this new function raises some interesting questions around what this means for video hosting channels:
- If we start to see a shift in people’s behaviour in how they share video as a result of Instargam videos, what impact will this have on the number of videos uploaded to site sites such as YouTube?
- Will this then provoke a similar response from Google, to create an app which allowed users to record, edit and upload short videos before uploading directly to YouTube?
The battle for social media dominance continues and Facebook certainly looks like it’s on the attack at the moment. We’re only halfway through the year, so I predict we haven’t heard the last of the big channel updates from Mr Zuckerberg.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have you played with video for Instargram yet?
Do you like it?
Is this the end of Vine?