Not content to merely filterize lunch photos and still lifes, Instagram added video to their platform today.
Let’s have a look at the various sides of this announcement.*
The Biggest Winner: Facebook’s Wallet
After purchasing Instagram for a cool billion, Facebook needed a way to turn the free app into a cash cow. With a user base of 10 million+ and a platform that puts content right in front of you, Instagram was ripe for the picking (see what I did there?) in terms of monetization. The content shows up in your feed, no click-through necessary. That’s why video makes so much sense. It’s no coincidence that the first video that many saw was a Lululemon ad.
Winner: Those Who Like To Use Less Apps
Two apps that perform the same function make you question why you have two apps. Unless you’re an app-hoarder, each app on your phone performs a primary (but distinctive) function. If you had Instagram and Vine on your phone, Instagram adding video to their app made Vine. After all, don’t you wanna share ALL your work (photos and videos) with your cozy, filter-lovin’ Instafamily?
People who benefit: Non-Videographers Who Like to Walk the Path of Lease Resistance
This particular group of users doesn’t go out of their way to use Vine, they didn’t try any of Vine’s predecessors (Viddy, Socialcam, etc.) but now that Instagram has video, they’ll start making and posting videos. The ease with which one can record, edit and share a video eliminates any friction that would have hindered a new creative process, and that’s quite a benefit to them.
The Come From Behind-er: Twitter
Despite the fact that Twitter owns Vine (the app which was nearly made obsolete by the announcement), Twitter is a hub whose main benefit comes from social sharing. More people sharing to Twitter means more eyes on Twitter and more eyes on Twitter creates better advertising opportunities for Twitter. Despite their beef with Facebook, Twitter will benefit as more people create new types of content (namely videos) and share it on their network.
The Angriest Mob: Instagram Purists
This small contingent of Instagram purists are extremely dedicated to being active members of the Instagram community. They only shoot/edit with their smartphones. They are meticulous about curating their feed. Their photo roll is more a work of art, less a daily photo journal. The IG purist is bound to be furious at the addition of video because, let’s face it, videos are so not hipster.
The Irritated: Those Who Hate Change
The interwebz literally exploded with irritated users who’s only reason for hating the video addition to Instagram was that it was different. Most offered no support but merely voiced their disapproval. Their whining created a major din and generally ruined cyberspace for anyone who visited a social network during/after the announcement. Instagram could have announced a new button that allowed you to donate to cancer research and they still woulda whined.
The Fallout: The Instagram News Feed
Photography takes a certain type of skill. Videography takes an entirely different type of skill. It’s different type of art, one which (arguably) takes a higher amount of technical skill to master. Because of this high bar, the general populous isn’t as versed in it as they are of photography. Point & shoot cameras (the precursors to smartphone cameras) made amateur photographers) of us all. Instagram gave many an opportunity to practice and showcase their budding skill. Amateur videos (in all of their shaky glory) have a greater tendency to be 15 second torture chambers. Add to that the fact that Instagram videos auto-play when you scroll upon them, our photo feed will never be the same. Brace yourself, your Instagram feed is about to look like a college Film professor’s desk the day before midterms.
The Biggest Loser: Vine.
Twitter recently announced that Vine surpassed Instagram in shares (on Twitter). Be that as it may, Vine’s 15 million+ user base pales in comparison to Instagram’s 130 million active monthly users. With today’s announcement, Instagram made a pretty decent argument for ditching Vine and using Instagram for your photo and video sharing needs.
-One coworker jubilantly exclaimed “Instagram haaaaaassssss video” and then remarked “Videos on Instagram make it more funner.”
-A professional photographer told me, “[What’s] also obnoxious about the update: videos aren’t pretty. I like pretty things.”
-One friend, an avid Vine user, suprisingly wrote me, “Well… my feed is more annoying than usual. So hmph. [frowney face].”
*I would like to note (before someone criticizes me for it) that I was inspired to write in this format by Bill Simmons.