The Race is On: Instagram Makes a Big Push Towards Long-Form Video

Tue Jun 19 2018
Eric Lam, CEO

Tomorrow, Instagram is expected to launch a new long-form video hub that will allow creators to upload 60-minute, 4K, full-screen videos for the first time ever. Video has been a core focus for Facebook for quite some time. But as younger generations continue to shift away from Facebook towards Instagram, the launch of this video hub is Instagram’s latest weapon in the war to win the mobile video market which will grow to more than $19.8 billion by 2020.

Why is video so important? It’s the most sought-after source of content from businesses today. But given its complexity, it’s also extremely difficult and expensive for brands to produce at scale.

But the rise of the video content creator is changing all of this. Between influencers, amateur videographers, artists and even everyday people armed with a smartphone, creators are changing the content landscape by offering both a more efficient as well as more scalable way to deliver branded video creative that is timely, authentic and scalable. As a result, social-media giants like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are all racing to become the preferred video platform for creators and brands alike.

Until now, Instagram and YouTube videos have served very different purposes for marketers. While the simplicity of Instagram’s short-form video has worked well for some companies, YouTube has long been the preferred source of long-form video for creators which is crucial for many product categories that require in-depth education and demonstration. Instagram and YouTube also vary widely in terms of expectations on content quality. While a creator may spend a few hours crafting an Instagram post, a YouTuber may spend an entire week storyboarding, shooting and editing a video before it goes live.

With the new hour-long video hub, Instagram is becoming a more powerful platform for marketers and creators. Our own influencer data shows a rapid rise in demand for Instagram stories, which indicates that both consumers and brands have a huge appetite for vertically-oriented, organically-sourced video. The launch of this video hub should further expand Instagram’s appeal to longer-form video creators that previously viewed YouTube as their de facto ecosystem.

Instagram’s video hub launch indicates that organic video is here to stay. But don’t take it from us, here’s what our influencers are saying:

not wearing high tops but same thing am I right

A post shared by ✈ Alise Jonville ➹ (@alisecaroline) on

  • “I think having the option for long form videos will open up a whole plethora of new ways to promote our services and products. I can also see it being a great way for us to get our high quality YouTube style videos in front of our Instagram audience, especially seeing as at the moment our IG audience is so much larger. Being able to tag products and brands within these videos will be massive for us.” - @trialandkale, 73.7k followers

  • "With long form video, creators will have more flexibility with their video content for brands. I'm excited because I can really use that time in the video to make it more meaningful and impact my followers through a story, rather than a short clip on their feed. Once again, Instagram is growing their influence across the web!" - @alisecaroline, 37.3k followers 
  • "Better quality, more engaging and more authentic! Long form video will allow my audience to view the full-length content without clicking a link in my bio to other platforms (Youtube, blog post, etc.) The engagement and conversion are expected to be higher than a redirecting short form video post. One-hour videos will be long enough for in-depth product reviews or full demonstrations for brands. I believe long form video will improve storytelling organically." - @chrishanxoxo, 247k followers


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