Instagram eyes up live-streaming video
James R | On 12, Nov 2016
Instagram is eyeing up the addition of live-streaming video to its service.
The image-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook, is planning to expand its platform by joining the live video game. Indeed, live-streaming is becoming the word of the day, with Twitter switching its focus from Vine to sports, such as NFL, and other events. On YouTube, live viewings have surged 80 per cent in the last year, while Snapchat attracted 49 million unique viewers watching live Olympics content during Rio 2016’s first week.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Facebook is increasingly placing an emphasis on live videos. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook plans to put video “at the heart of” all of its service earlier this year, reworking its algorithm to promote live video above other media and introducing a dedicated space for videos in its interface.
Live video on Facebook has grown four times over since May, notes the Financial Times, with the social network also spending big on a mainstream advertising campaign to showcase users broadcasting themselves doing ordinary things. Facebook Messenger, too, is testing new video features.
Now, the social network is extending that emphasis to Instagram too.
CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed its plans in an interview with the FT this week.
“Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing,” he said. “If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.”
Systrom’s comments arrive as Instagram is already broadening its horizons, borrowing from rival Snapchat to launch its new Stories feature – a way to share videos, as well as photos, in a serialised format with followers that disappears after 24 hours. 100 million users are now using Stories on a daily basis.
“If you’re the CEO of a company and all of a sudden 100m people are using a new format every single day, it’s not something you ignore. You push investment into it,” Systrom said.
Indeed, this week, Instagram strengthened its service, allowing users to share videos from Boomerang and also include links and mentions.
“Our mission is not to be a camera app, it’s not to just take pretty photos,” Systrom added, saying they want to create “shared experiences”.
Instagram introduces personalised video channel
28th July 2016
Instagram is entering YouTube territory with the launch of a new, personalised video channel.
The image-sharing website has been increasingly stepping up its video game of late, with users able to upload videos of up to 60 seconds, as of April 2016. The site has already proven a platform for creators and vloggers, with the release of thriller Shield 5 in 15-second instalments highlighting its potential for hosting web series.
Now, Instagram is following in the footsteps of Facebook by introducing a dedicated space for discovering videos that others have uploaded. From this week, users can new find a personalised channel called “Videos You Might Like”, as part of the app’s Explore area.
This collects videos from across Instagram’s global community into a “seamless viewing experience”, with Featured channels in the Explore grid also filled with videos on specific topics, whether that’s an event, such as the 2016 Olympics, or a date, such as Christmas.
The aim is the same: to connect users with those they don’t follow, primarily by matching interests, based on user likes and interactions. By adjusting to preferences and showing users more of the stuff they enjoy – they can tap “See Fewer Posts Like This” on content they don’t like – Instagram hopes to build a bigger video community of viewers as well as creators. The foundations are certainly there: in the last year, the amount of time people spend watching videos on Instagram has risen 150 per cent, the site has announced.