Instagram is moving (literally)

Submitted by on the 21st of June 2013

If you download the update you’ll see that you can now choose between photo or video and then (as per normal photo usage) choose filters before you publish.

On face value, from a product development point of view, it makes sense that one of the fastest growing photo editing and sharing social networks would expand their offering.

However…..

I think that Instagram was one of the first apps I downloaded when I upgraded to an iPhone (it’s been around since Oct 2010.) I’m a visual person with a very short attention span so being able to see ‘slice of life’ pics from all over the world was appealing – still is. It’s a true mobile photo sharing and editing app that just works, and stuff looks amazing, what’s not to love?

Screw the photog purists, IG is what it is – an online photo sharing and editing social network that allows users to apply digital filters to pics and share them with their friends. It’s quick and satisfying. I’ve introduced some of the most anti-social network people (selfishly, mostly people who take amazing pics and have an eye for composition) to the app over the past year and they have loved it.

I believe that instagram has boosted interest in photography and art, together with the trusty smartphone people have started looking at the world and people differently, if nothing else, that’s a cultural win surely? I think it’s changed digital photography forever, screw Flickr or Facebook or any of those other smartphone photo apps, Instagram owns this.

Fast-forward a little over two and a half years and Instagram has announced today that they are adding video to the mix. The response is naturally mixed and the uptake will be interesting, here’s my 2 cents – I’m an avid instagrammer but by no means a pro.

– They have limited videos to 15 secs > excellent, any longer will surely bore our brains and chew our bandwidth.
– We know the vids will look better than when we shot them, filters are magic – it’s the reason the world fell in love with Instagram in the first place.
– Filters are easy to apply on videos and you can preview what they’ll look like > perfect. Watch it, watch it, watch it again and then ask yourself if people really need to see this, if yes – publish.

I make a point of repeating the ‘watch it’ point, no disrespect to the professionals but as a hobby-iphone-photog it’s usually easier to snap a moment spontaneously, interestingly enough these captured moments are usually the ones that are ‘loved’ the most. Add to that the fact that many of us usually capture a moment using the basic camera function (because it’s the quickest to access) and then we import into Instagram and filter and tag and publish. My point? A single moment is easier to capture.

So, IG adds video to the mix, I think it’s a natural business / dev decision. Great functionality, same filters, same process and I think yay, UX win.

It will take some time to get used to seeing videos in my feed and naturally we’ll get an overdose or crap food and cat vids, the SAME as we get an overdose of crap food and cat pics. As with photos, people who figure out how to make the video functionality work will add value and win audience.

Bottom line: I think that (for the masses) good video is much harder to conceptualise than good photography. They’re different skills. So expect to see some IG stars perhaps failing (or not trying) vid – this is ok – I hope we’ll see some new talent coming through and showcasing their cool filming talent. Either way I like the fact that the world is starting to understand that art comes in different forms and that we should all embrace that.

THIS is how you do it >>