Instagram Videos changed from 15 seconds to 60 seconds
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Instagram users can now post videos
that last up to 60 seconds, up from an earlier cap of 15 seconds.
The change is launching on iOS and Android today and should be available to all users within the coming months. About two months ago, Instagram made it possible for advertisers to post videos up to one-minute long. However, today marks the first time users and creatives have the same ability.
“We want to bring you fun, flexible and creative ways to create and watch video on Instagram,” the company said in a post. “Longer videos mean more diverse stories from the accounts you love, whether it’s Selena Gomez hanging out with friends or beauty star Bretman Rock’s latest makeup tutorial.”
Why does a 60-second limit make sense? It’s all about optimizing viewership metrics, according to Sephi Shapira, CEO of performance mobile advertising firm Massive Impact. “It’s about keeping users in the feed,” Shapira said, describing one-minute as Instagram’s magic number. “Unlike YouTube where users jump from video to video, Instagram wants users to finish videos.”
Citing YouTube metrics, Shapira noted that among videos up to four minutes long, viewership generally peaks at the one-minute mark before trailing off. (YouTube did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.) A study this summer by video analytics firm Tubular Labs, found that the average duration of a top Facebook FB -0.65% video is about 1.5 minutes. Instead of risking losing a significant portion of viewers after one-minute, requiring shorter videos helps ensure users will complete them. The extended length also gives creatives and influencers more freedom to communicate their message and affect their audience.
Tuesday’s update will also reinstate users’ ability to create a video using multiple clips from their camera roll. Many users have been turning to outside apps to stitch video clips together. Today’s update should encourage more users to stay within the app from start to finish.
Videos are increasingly important to Instagram, which recently hit 400 million monthly active users. Over the past six months, the amount of time users have spent watching Instagram videos has increased by 40%, the company said. Since Instagram revamped its curated “Explore” tab last summer, the company has been serving users more curated videos in collections built around accounts and places, such as musicians, extreme athletes, architecture and beaches. The longer video format could help boost the amount of time users spend in the app and make Instagram become more valuable as a search tool and pulse on live events.
Facebook-owned Instagram hinted that users can expect to see more new v
ideo features later this year. Although Instagram’s advertising business is still young, it is expected to have mobile ad sales of $1.37 billion in the U.S. and $1.48 billion worldwide this year, according to forecasting firm eMarketer. The impact of video ads on Facebook suggests that videos are also key to Instagram’s business. In November, Facebook said it sees 8 billion video views daily. Facebook has said it is exploring giving users a dedicated place for watching videos its flagship app.
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