Instagram launched video in the Summer of 2013, seemingly in reaction to Twitter-backed upstart Vine, which used 6-second videos as content in its social app.
Though some marketers seemed to struggle in activating that channel, MRY saw success with Visa’s #GoInSix campaign and a subsequent Winter Olympics activation.
However, nearly three years later, Instagram will be leaving the micro-content mentality in the dust, as it’s announced 60-second video capabilities for users. This move isn’t totally out of the blue, though, as it extended this functionality to advertisers in February. One of the first to test the feature was T-Mobile.
We’re in the #BigGame with @ChampagnePapi. #YouGotCarriered A video posted by tmobile (@tmobile) on
Giving advertisers a key functionality such as this before users is a fairly rare occurrence for the Facebook family, where brands have waited to use gifs, video and other features long after users have relegated them to accepted facts of the feed.
That said, this move normalizes user activity with brand capability on the platform, creating a more harmonious user experience.
For brands, the move effectively removes constraints from organic posts, meaning longer-form content – borrowed from YouTube or even television stock – can live on the brand’s page, not just in ads. For the platform, it’s setting its sights on bigger competitors in the ad space.
The next key step from Instagram should be better integrating that brand page content to its ads platform (which often seems like an afterthought, tacked on to Facebook’s Power Editor). Currently, a brand cannot promote (or “boost”) an organic post.