Instagram for Video is now available for Android 4.0 devices, and all users are allowed to upload video from their image libraries. We already know Facebook wants to start using video ads right in the news feed, and this looks like it could be the first step.
Upload Videos for Marketers
Part of the appeal of apps like Vine and, initially, Instagram for Video, was their spontaneity. Shoot a video, post it to Vine or Instagram. For Instagram users, now any video can be uploaded, not just ones that were filmed using the app.
Having this ability now opens the door wide for marketers to start targeting people with specifically produced videos. Eventually, Facebook is said to be eyeing a pop out video ad service from right inside the news feed. This has not been officially announced yet, but if true, Instagram videos would be a perfect fit.
With nearly 1 billion users, Facebook’s marketing appeal is simply undeniable, and Instagram users appear to be even more coveted. So far, Facebook has held off on making Instagram its default video tool, but Instagram videos do show up more prominently. That is, videos open up to a larger size than with other formats. Eventually, though, it seems logical Instagram will be the default, we just don’t know if that will happen before the video ads roll out first.
Android 4.0 Update
Instagram 4.1 brings Video for Instagram to Android 4.0, a more popular variant that hadn’t been invited to the party with the app’s original launch. Instagram for video debuted on iOS and Android 4.1 only. Android 4.1 is not on as many devices, and in fact only the newest superphones had been running it. This update brings Instagram for video to a much, much wider Android base than before.
The other update for v4.1 is automatic straightening for iOS. It works for uploaded videos or with videos shot with the app, and there’s a straighten icon in the app the will level out a video that has a crooked horizon. Uploaded videos can only be done in 15 second spurts, just like when filming with the app. Any 15 second split can be chosen for uploaded videos, and for iOS users, multiple clips can be combined to make a single 15 second video.
Instagram and Facebook are incredibly popular, but videos are still ruled by YouTube. Instagram for Video could certainly blow up as a Facebook video platform, but it doesn’t seem likely it will ever threaten a monster like YouTube. When it comes to advertising, on the other hand, that could be interesting. We’ll have to wait and see what the rumored Facebook video ads look like, and of course the pricing.