The New Feature of Instagram: A Threat For Facebook, YouTube?

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Video consumption on mobile is an all-time high. It is helping to drive the social engagement better than anything else besides garnering more comments and more likes. Probably that’s the reason all social media giants are trying hard to capture more eyeballs. After YouTube and Facebook, it’s Instagram – offers users to share photos as well as hasty glimpses of their memorable moments using short videos – has now tied its laces to go a long way.

Earlier in the fixture, only Facebook and YouTube possessed the feature of uploading videos that were an hour long or more. Now Instagram – a Facebook-owned app – is considerately going to wipe out the video limit restraints, as mentioned by The wall street journal. The new feature of Instagram would let the users post videos of up to an hour in length. This new feature will provide flexibility to 900 million users and prove to be a game changer in the rally; Though this plan is still described as tentative by the WSJ as Instagram is still in talks with its creators.

The decision of launching the long-form of videos comes two years after the launch of Instagram Stories. the Stories feature allows users’ to add photos and short videos of up to 15 seconds, and will disappear after 24 hours. Interestingly, Instagram Stories has now become one of the most popular and fastest-growing features of the app. More than 300 million Stories are being created on Instagram, every day.


Last year, Instagram reported that the number of videos posted per day on the platform has continued to increase by 4 times each year and the time spent on watching those videos has increased more than 80%. This trend looks set to continue as Instagram Stories continues to gain traction.

Long-Form Videos: A Growing Trend

The mobile video continued its double-digit growth in Q4 2017, and now makes up 60.3% of all video plays across all devices. However, not every video on social media is able to catch the eyeballs of millions of people. The success of any video depends on various aspects, but the length of a video has emerged as one of the most important ones. Interestingly, the long form of videos (>60 seconds) is setting new trends in the marketing world. They are more likely to gain users’ attention than shorter videos.

According to a report from Ooyala, Q4 2017 saw medium-form (5–20 mins.) and long-form video (20+ mins.) accounting for 56% of all time watched on smartphones.

Instagram Long Form Video: A Threat To Facebook And YouTube?

Remember when Mark Zuckerberg said onceIn five years, most of Facebook will be video”! Undoubtedly, this is slowing turning into reality. In 2016, the company signed contracts with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities, amounting to more than $50 million, to create videos for its nascent live-streaming service – Facebook Live. A few months later, Facebook had introduced Live 360, which allow users to broadcast live videos in a 360-degree format.

According to the new report, the videos over 90 seconds on Facebook have seen a much higher rate of engagement than videos of other durations. In Q1 2017, only 12.6% of Facebook videos fell into the category of the 90+ second, while by Q4 2017, that number had reached to 22.1%.


By bringing this feature to work, Instagram has tried to walk hand in hand with its parent company, Facebook, as it makes videos one of the major parts of its offerings. As brands are betting big on video ads on Facebook, brands are expecting to receive similar engagement on Instagram as well.

At the same time, adding long-form video could also help Instagram make inroads against YouTube. The Google-owned video-sharing site is the most popular internet service among teens, according to a recent Pew Research study. Today, one billion hours of videos are being watched on Youtube every day, that’s generating billions of views.

YouTube always takes the throne when it comes to watching videos online. It’s the most widely used platform by today’s youth for watching long videos or movies. The introduction of this new feature brings Instagram a little closer to YouTube.

Currently one can share only a 60-second long video on Instagram restricting the users from posting long videos. If this feature that is currently discussed to be tentative, rolls out, it would increase the video engagement on the platform which is steadily becoming more popular than Facebook itself. Videos streamed live, rather than recorded, are already allowed to run for up to an hour on the platform.

With so many wonderful features already possessed by Instagram, this new feature could be the turning stone for it.


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