The details: Instagram’s 130m active users – up 30m since February – can now shoot video clips of up to 15 seconds in length, apply one of 13 visual filters, then share them to their Instagram followings as well as parent service Facebook.
“We’re still committed to making sure you have control over all of your content. Only the people who you let see your photos will be able to see your videos. And as with photos, you own your videos,” explains CEO Kevin Systrom in a blog post. The new feature is already live in Instagram’s iPhone and Android apps.
There is obvious potential for musicians and music marketers, many of whom are using Instagram already. The 15-second limit has clearly been chosen carefully: it’s a popular length for TV ads, and brands including Burberry, Gap and Lululemon are already publishing videos on Instagram. We expect to see similarly shortform ads appearing for albums and tours, alongside artists’ more personal clips.
Silicon Valley loves a good self-celebration, and the ability to video your ice-cream sundae rather than just take a snap of it has been greeted with slightly too much enthusiasm in some quarters (“If Facebook is the heart, and Twitter is the head, then Instagram is the eyes, and the eyes are the window to the soul” being our favourite example so far).
But within the music industry, the interest in the shortform video format, whether six seconds on Vine or 15 on Instagram, is genuine, and should continue to throw up some creative clips.