60 Second Instagram Videos are Coming… But That Doesn’t Mean You Should Post Them

If you have kept up with any of the latest content platforms and which ones are making it big lately you’ve probably noticed one major trend: These platforms are supporting shorter and shorter forms of content. First it was Facebook, where you could share statuses as long as your heart desired. Then Twitter, where you had to condense your thoughts into 140 characters or less; and god forbid you put a picture in there and get even that 140 cut down. Then Instagram and Vine, with standalone pictures and short, 6 second videos. And finally everyone’s favourite filter-toting, funny face-inducing, disappearing photo and short video platform Snapchat.

Then something interesting happened…

Instagram brought in 15 second videos. Based on the above pattern, this doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. But, with their growing user base and the inevitable decline of Vine to a limited number of content creators treated like idols by tweens (can’t believe I just used that word), the move made sense. It was hard to get a brand’s message across in only 6 seconds, so the Instagram update worked, allowing brands to tease at promo videos, events, or whatever they were up to that was worthy of our 15 seconds of attention.

Now something even more interesting is happening…

In a statement released on March 29th, Instagram dropped that in the coming months they are increasing the length of videos that can be posted on the platform BY 4 TIMES. That is a pretty interesting decision given the popularity of Snapchat and the emerging use of it by some brands. It seems like everything is moving towards micro-content, or content that you can consume in the shortest time possible because hey, there might be a funny cat video if you keep scrolling.

As with everything, I think that this update can be used extremely well or very poorly. Just because you can now make 60 second videos, doesn’t mean you should. The golden rule applies as always: make kick-ass content. If you are crushing 15-second videos and getting amazing engagement from your audience (the perfect opportunity to engage back and create relationships) and don’t think you could fill a 60 second video with the same quality then don’t. On the other hand, this longer run time gives you the opportunity to hook in your audience and say, point them to a full vlog or video in your bio. The options are endless, but with content following an ever-shortening trend remember that the amount of time you have to make someone stop and say “Whoa” is growing smaller and smaller everyday. So if you choose to make these longer videos, reel them in with a strong opening, send them to the video or website link in your bio, and watch the traffic poor in. :heart_eyes: