It's official. Facebook which acquired Instagram last year for more than US$700 million (GBP £450 million), is adding video clips to the photo-sharing app, which has more than 130 million people actively using it every month.
Users will be able to make clips of between 3 -15 seconds - 9 seconds more than Twitter's Vine, add one of 13 custom filters "built specifically for video", and edit clips which will be integrated into Facebook's social media feeds.
Instagram as part of campaigns
At 15-seconds Instagram video is a micro-video service, whilst Vine at 6-seconds is a new medium in itself.
The integration into the existing Instagram application is impressively seamless and clearly built for easy consumption. I believe that the integration with Facebook will be the differentiator between Instagram and Vine in terms of both audience and the type of content we expect to see published.
Potential for short-form video on digital platforms
Marketers should optimise for each, but I fear they will see these mediums as simply further media buying options as opposed to new mediums in of themselves.
The current average length of a television advert is approximately 30-seconds. The translation of 30-seconds of messaging into 15-seconds is far more attainable than 6-seconds. Under imposed constraints users are at their most creative and I fear that we could find brands opt for the easier solution of migrating existing videos rather than pursue true creativity.
However, I hope that the opposite is true and that we see brands choose instead to push the bounds of creativity and perhaps micro-video and Vine will drastically improve the approach brands have to video messaging and YouTube pre-rolls; perhaps we'll even see YouTube introduce a 6-15 second pre-roll option?
To what extent will campaigns run across all three, versus choosing one or optimising for each?
In terms of whether or not brands opt for one campaign across all three, or unique campaigns for each, I believe it will be very much determined by the audience a brand is looking to reach. Instagram, integrated with Facebook, will be about reaching friends and family, whilst the seamless integration with Twitter will see Vine positioned best to capture the wider general public in an instant.