Instagram has begun rolling out an update that lets you record longer videos on the media-sharing application. Starting today, you’ll be able to post videos as long as 60 seconds, an increase from the 15 seconds you had before. It’ll be available on both iOS and Android, but only a small group will have this capability to start, including both verified and nonverified users. Instagram said that it will be rolling out to everyone “in the coming months.”
As more people opt to use video to express their moments, Instagram, along with its parent company Facebook, are diving deeper into this space to give people what they want. Advertisers were the first to see the increase as Instagram allowed them to create 60-second video ads, with brands like T-Mobile and Warner Bros. taking advantage of it ahead of Super Bowl 50.
Nearly three years ago, Instagram added support for videos, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, “We’re really just getting started with this product.” At the time, you could upload 15-second clips and apply one of 13 filters to make your video stand out.
“When I think about what Instagram is, I think about moments … at our core visual imagery is everything,” said Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom at the time. “Our mission is to capture and share the world’s moments, and we live that every single day.”
Over time, the company released improvements for the service, including more filters and a slow-motion capability. It has also added video view counts to posts, so instead of just seeing how many people liked your video, you’ll know how many actually watched it, essentially further rivaling Twitter’s Vine app. To reinforce its belief in the future of video, in October, Instagram debuted a Twitter Moments-like video channel that showcases curated footage and photos from users around specific events.
At first, limiting videos to 15 seconds was an effort to get people right to the point so they could share their experiences succinctly. But by increasing that length up to a minute, this gives users the ability to tell more of their story — something that may have been an issue of concern previously. It also strengthens Facebook’s tools to take on YouTube as the video leader of the Internet.