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Hour-long videos could be about to make Instagram a lot less instant

A potential move to allow 60-minute videos would be a huge step away from the type of content Instagram is known for.

Published onJune 6, 2018

The Instagram app on Pixel 2.
  • Instagram could be set to let users upload videos of up to an hour in length.
  • This is a huge increase on the current maximum length of 60 seconds.
  • This would likely let Instagram sell more ads on its videos.

Instagram is considering launching a feature that would let users upload videos of up to an hour in length. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, the feature will focus on vertical videos.

The report claims that Instagram has already begun to speak to content creators about “producing long-form video.” If confirmed, the feature could launch within the Instagram app, although the sources also said that nothing is certain yet.

This would be a significant change for the platform. Currently, Instagram only allows users to post videos of up to a minute on their profile and 15-seconds in Instagram Stories. By allowing longer videos, Instagram could signal that it is wanting to compete with the likes of YouTube. Although, the vertical format would still appear to limit the types of videos that could be uploaded.

One thing that longer videos would almost certainly result in is more ads. Ads on videos are a major and growing source of revenue for social networks. According to the report, they sell for much higher rates than other types of advert and are generally far more lucrative.

Longer videos also mean that consumers are more likely to stay on the platform for longer. This would potentially allow Instagram to show more ads to people using the platform.

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Instagram stock image 11

Facebook, the owner of Instagram, has long experimented with ways to increase the amount of video people watch on its social networks. On Facebook, this includes auto-starting videos as people scroll through the site, live streaming, and video stories.  It also lets publishers insert ads into longer video clips.

A recent report suggested that Facebook is now only the fourth most used platform by teenagers in the U.S. Instagram comes in at number two behind Google’s YouTube in first place. By increasing the amount of video on Instagram, Facebook would also be minimizing any potential lost video revenue from a key demographic.

Another video related feature that Instagram is expected to roll out soon is video chat, which it began to test just last month.

Next up: 10 best video streaming apps and video streaming services for Android

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