When Instagram merged IGTV into its broader Instagram Video offering this year it was a clear sign that the social media platform was putting all its eggs in the video basket.  Then Instagram chief Adam Mosseri mentioned that the platform had ‘placed a lot of new bets’ last year and it was obvious that the time had come to simplify and consolidate Instagram’s offering. And from all the information that has come from the platform this year it looks like a shift towards video content is where this energy is going to go.

The latest innovation: 60 second stories

The drive towards creating more opportunities to better use video content via instagram is motivated by the desire to maximise user engagement. Long stories are currently broken down into chunks but Instagram is testing out longer stories that wouldn’t cut off until a minute in length. As the length of Reels was expanded to 60 seconds over the summer this provides a convenient tie up with Reels – a full Reel could be uploaded in its entirety to Stories once the change has been rolled out.

What else is Instagram doing to drive users towards video tools?

The platform is also testing a new function that would redirect users to the full Reel from Stories when a Reel is shared via Stories. The motivation behind this is to increase awareness among users of all the options that are available when it comes to video on Instagram – with the ultimate aim of moving away from the basic photo grid function of the app. It looks likely that a consolidation of all the video tools available is going to be on the cards for Instagram in the near future – this will be underpinned by the desire to streamline and scale back so that users don’t feel overwhelmed by all the available tools.

The TikTok effect

There’s no doubt that the competition provided by TikTok has had a big influence over the steps Instagram has taken to move towards video in a more productive way. Eventually, the goal will be for a user to see an instant stream of the most engaging content on Instagram as soon as they open the app. In TikTok users can choose to scroll through various feeds, from the people the user follows to the content the algorithm has picked but in Instagram it’s necessary first to navigate to Reels and Stories to get to video content. The TikTok approach is very simple, instantly accessible and also ensures that content is tailored and fresh every time a user logs in. The effectiveness of that approach is one reason why Instagram is making this shift – with the goal of ensuring that there is every reason to stay browsing within the app.

When we said goodbye to IGTV earlier this year, the moment marked a real shift in the way that Instagram is going to start pushing its content. From longer stories to rearranging how content is accessed it’s all likely to be video-focused from here on in.To find out how Iconic Digital can help you with your social media channels, get in touch today, call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Agency in London.