Instagram Video: New Features, New Opportunities, New Risks

Promoting branded content through Instagram Video just got a whole lot easier. On Wednesday, Instagram released version 4.1 of its app to Android and iPhone users. With the new version comes a game-changing feature: the ability to import video from the device’s library.

You can now “upload videos from your phone’s media library and share those moments to Instagram regardless of when they were captured,” explains the company’s blog post. This means users have the opportunity to shoot on high-quality equipment, edit footage on a desktop and post impressive creations to the site. Amateurs watch out, the pros have the upper hand here. As Instagram Video becomes a more serious art form, the app may lose average users to Vine and its simplistic nature.

There’s no doubt that more brands and advertisers will flock to the app because of this convenient new feature.  Video quality is no longer a deterrent—agencies can create perfected clips for brands to publish. Many brands may have the urge to reuse television spots instead of creating original, tailored videos. However, just because it became easy to take existing content and slap it up on Instagram, doesn’t mean it should happen.

When Instagram Video first launched, some praised the fact that all videos had to be original and created through the app. In an interview with The Guardian, head of innovation at creative agency Rufus Leonard, Iain Miller said, “As a consumer, the best news about the launch of Instagram video is that you can’t import video—you have to shoot it in the app. Hopefully this will mean brands will try and understand what the medium is really good for, and create great new stuff—rather than lazily applying a filter to their existing TV ads.”

This is now a potential problem. Instagram users still hold power in the form of Likes and will make it clear whether or not they’re fans of professional branded material. In the coming months, we’ll see if and how companies utilize these new features in their online video advertising campaigns.

About Hannah Brenzel

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