You might have seen a bit of a change in Instagram if you've recently upgraded your app. Now much more than a mere photo sharing network, Instagram comes fully loaded with video capability, allowing you to upload a 15 second clip.Whilst it’s somewhat easy to disregard the new feature as merely an alpha-dog turf war with popular video app Vine, Instagram has a few key advantages here, including double the recording time, a plethora of nice looking filters and custom frames (the image that is displayed when a video isn't playing). So from an online marketing perspective, there are a lot of very cool features for businesses to take advantage of.“Awesome! But does it really make a difference?” you might be thinking.Good question! And the answer is yes – it can potentially make a huge difference to both Instagram and Facebook (who now own Instagram).As Instagram videos can run for more than double the time of Vine videos, it gives individuals and brands an even greater chance of being able to get creative and tell larger stories while still keeping within a small running time. Whilst looping videos are currently not available, this feature will undoubtedly be rolled out within the near future.This new feature could provide a significant boost to Facebook’s ad business. Here’s how:
Video is even more evocative than photos. Over the past year, Facebook has steadily offered more options for marketers to get their message across to their target market, evolving from tiny banners on the side of the page, to brand pages, to promoted posts and ads with incredible targeting options. Add video to that mix, and there’s even greater potential. We’re already starting to see it done with large corporations like Coca-Cola, and Facebook themselves – video ads on the right hand sidebar, and even video ads on the login screen, like Ford Australia's ad below.
Instagram harnessing this tool places the power of video advertising in the hands of the every-man – no longer will video ads be reserved for large corporations with sky high budgets.We'll start to truly see the real benefit of this and the impact on social media when Facebook rolls out video advertising to everyone later this year.The video update is also good news if you’re a small business – as one of the many reasons why small businesses generally don’t utilise television advertising is due to the expense and time that it takes to create an ad.Even taking paid video advertising out of the equation, there is still the potential of benefit if Instagram’s video gets users more engaged with the app, and in turn, Facebook itself. With the ability for brand pages to host a custom Instagram feed on their profile, users engaging with their Instagram will also mean them interacting with Facebook. From here, the potential for virality of content increases greatly.With all of this taken into account, the prospects are promising for Instagram and Facebook . Even if the results prove not as dramatic as initially expected, at least the potential for engagement is heightened – and that’s always a good thing.