Loop the Loop: NEW Instagram video feature
This month Instagram released another new feature with a software update: continuously looping videos, which auto-play in the stream. This update may seem like any other development – we are accustomed to regularly updating our favourite apps as they continually release new features, tweaking functionality and improving our user experience – however this seemingly small change brings with it some important considerations for content makers, real opportunities for brands and with these, a potentially huge win for Facebook.
Team G&I immediately begin experimenting with the new update, making videos with the loop specifically in mind – the end joining up with the start. Have a look at this seasonal example, made by our Account Director, Sally-Ann:
Opportunity for Brands
This update provides a new opportunity for brands to develop better custom built content and win additional reach and engagement from the highly active Instagram user base. Most videos on Instagram are not made with the loop in mind, unlike Vine which has a community of 6 second .gif makers. Time is of the essence for any brand wishing to stand-out using this new feature, as it will not be long until more digital content makers bring their Vine skills to Instagram.
Key Features of new Instagram Videos
Sound On / Off Sound defaults to OFF. Videos play automatically in the Instagram stream with no sound – users can tap the screen to turn on the volume. This is different to Vine, which defaults sound ON when users scroll the video on screen. What this means is a large portion of users are likely to tap on the sound after a few seconds and perhaps some will not press the volume at all, so the soundtrack should not be integral to the communication of the message. If you rely on the sound to tell the story, you risk the audience not hearing at all. There are some brands who have already embraced the Instagram loop – The Gap has just released the first in a series of micro-shows, featuring well-known actors:
This example is very clever as the loop creates a slightly different “story” during the second watch. I can see how bands will be keen to harness this new feature and alongside the newly released advertising opportunities on the much-loved social network (300 million+ users and counting), I am certain we will see even more Instagram videos in our streams, very soon.
Implications – good or bad?
The popularity of video content is a key online marketing trend for 2015 – social media giant Facebook recently introduced the auto-play feature to videos in the news feed. I have often noted that my friends and contacts push Instagram photos to Twitter, but do not share their IG content on Facebook. Will this new “fit” of looping videos on Instagram, with the auto-play feature on Facebook, see more sharing from Instagram to Facebook? No doubt the people at Facebook will be hoping so.
Have you made an Instagram video with the loop in mind? Do you have a favourite looping Instagram video? Share it with me over on Twitter.