Instagram, the popular photo sharing app, has introduced the ability to add videos as well as photographs. Instagrammers can now upload 15 second videos to share with others and as with photographs on Instagram there are a range of filters that you can apply to your videos.
To use the new feature you will first need to upgrade to the latest version of Instagram. The good news for those not familiar with the platform is that both the iOS and Android apps are free. For those who are familiar with Instagram then you will find that when you click the button to take an Instagram as well as getting an option to take a pick or choose one from your gallery you now get a new option to shoot a video.
If you choose this option then the you press and hold a button while you want to keep filming, very similar to Vine. You can then apply a filter to it if you choose and then tag the video in the same way that you can with a photo on Instagram.
The parallels with Vine are obvious but I think that a 15 second video is better than the six seconds that you get with Vine. 15 seconds in half a TV ad. You can convey a lot more in 15 seconds than in six, yes, I know I’m stating the obvious but it will make a big difference to the quality of the videos produced. 15 seconds gives you enough time to display a product and some information or tell your clients about a service that your company offers.
Facebook is the owner of Instagram and they will no doubt have been aware of the popularity of Vine on Twitter and also the fact that Google owned You Tube is effectively the second most popular search engine. So from their perspective enabling the greater sharing of video is probably a must. Social media is new but constantly evolving. As smartphone penetration increases more and more of us are going to be armed with a camera/video camera and the ability to upload to social networks in an instant.
Instagram is a platform that lots of companies ignore but the reality is with 100 million users you should not ignore it. It is a great way to spread your message. A picture says a thousand words and all that.
So what was my first Instagram video? A cow in the field behind my house, one of “the girls” as I call them. You can view my Instagram page here.
If I was writing this blog 24 hours ago I would have been fairly neutral to the introduction of video. After last night that has all changed.
My view of video has always been to leave it to the experts, you have so much more to try to control in video than with a photograph. Objects move and how they look can be affected by how steady the person holding the camera is, how smooth the camera operators movements are, what the lighting is like as the object moves from one spot to another and most of all there is sound. The addition of sound completely changes the medium from being purely visual, as with a photograph, to being an audio-visual experience. What was it that changed my mind? I went to a circus.
I am one of those people who takes an inordinate amounts of photos when I go to an event, usually around 300 or so. I accept that many will not be useable but I do know that there will be a few golden nuggets that I will treasure for ever. Last night I was dazzled and amazed by the acts at Circus Funtasia who were appearing here in Blackburn, Lancashire. I did take loads of pics but I do not feel that photographs really conveyed the atmosphere or the dynamism of what I was seeing. Video would have been able to do all of that for me. A 15 second video of each act would have been fabulous. The whole evening was fun, exciting and magical. It really was one of those experiences where you can truly leave your troubles at the door and just enjoy yourself for a couple of hours.
I’ll urge you to try two things if you can. Try Instagram videos and try Circus Funtastico, neither will disappoint you.