Last week, Instagram surprised its user base by changing the time limit of its uploaded videos from 15 seconds to a staggering 60 seconds! Four times longer than it was before. Marketers were already used to this with its advertising platform allowing 1 minute promoted material but now its available for all to use and abuse.
Why such a big leap? According to their announcement, Instagram claimed that video watching on the app had increased by 40% over the past 6 months so extending the time limit was a no brainer especially when it comes to optimising viewership metrics
Unlike YouTube where users bounce from video to video, Instagram is aiming for users to finish videos. An interesting study last year by analytics firm Tubular Labs, found that the average user watches a Facebook video for around the average duration of 1.5 mins. Instead of losing a significant portion of viewers after 60 seconds, using shorter videos helps exploit our short attention spans and ensures we will complete them.
Another feature of this update enhances users’ ability to create a video using multiple clips from their camera roll. In the past, many users have been using external apps to do this and this change encourages users to stay within Instagram from start to finish.
Facebook-owned Instagram hinted that users can expect to see a lot more exciting new features this year. Although Instagram’s advertising business is still young, it is already on track with $1.48 billion mobile ad sales predicted worldwide this year. Facebook recognised the potential of video advertising and believe its key to Instagram’s business. In November, Facebook reported that it supports 8 billion video views daily and enhancing this capability will now give a more dedicated and focused place to view video content within Instagram.