Soon Instagram Videos Will Be A Minute Long And This Is The Worst Idea
On the heels of its recent announcement that soon a robot-algorithm will be coming for your Instagram feeds, users will now also be able to post videos that are up to 60 seconds long. For some, this is great news. For others, this is a nightmare for reasons both rational and irrational. Rather than tell you how to feel and why you should feel it, in the spirit of democracy and seeing both sides, two of your venerable Frisky editors have decided to weigh in on this.
Megan: Instagram is a service that, for the most part, does exactly what I want it to do: show me pictures of people I hang out with and celebrities that I enjoy in a curated-but-spontaenous feed that I use merely as a diversion from the drudgery of my everyday life. When they added video to Instagram, I was grateful. Sometimes a picture isn’t enough! Sometimes you need to see what happens when your college roommate’s baby pets their cat for the first time. Sometimes you want to see that over and over again, in a neat 15 second loop. 15 seconds is pretty much all you need. As a person with an attention span so short that I don’t have the patience for Kylie Jenner’s longer diatribes on Snapchat, the 15 second hard stop on Instagram videos feels like the perfect amount of time.
Think of your favorite Vine – a six second loop of web epehemera, honed to a glittering sharpness by tight editing and comic timing. For the purposes of our very scientific study, I’d like to present the following examples.
The brilliance of Metro Boomin’s DJ drop is indisputable; when isolated from the beginnning of “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1″ and set to six-perfectly-timed-seconds of video, it is nothing short of revelatory. Brevity, as they say, is the soul of wit. Instagram videos should stay short.
Rebecca: I think this comes down to a use problem. Instagram is my replacement for Facebook: I use it mainly to share dope things from my real life with a few of my friends and family. They can see and hear what I get to see and hear! (Without any heinous ranting status updates, *praise hands.*)
That being the case, the videos I both share and watch cannot be tightly edited, or there’s no use for editing them tightly. Over on my IG, we’ve been burdened with the #struggle of choosing which 15-second clip from a cool minute-long video is the most worthy, and that can be a disappointing decision to make. What if my church’s choir is being its most epic self for thirty seconds? What if to include my brother-in-law pronouncing my husband and I life partners and us kissing all in one video, I need forty-five seconds? What if my nephew is being adorable for a full minute? What if, to get the full benefit of my dog’s doofiness, I need just seventeen seconds?
Real life is complex, spontaneous — or, uncurated, unedited. If, like me, you’re using Instagram to connect with your friends and family, you have now been blessed with the ability to share longer videos, if you need to. If you’re using it to peruse branded content, the good news is that people can and I would bet will still just cut it off at 15 seconds.
Megan: Fair point. Using Instgram as a Facebook replacement is an intriguing proposition and one that more people should probably try, if only in a futile attempt to remove the vice grip of Mark Zuckerberg from my digital presence. But, aside from deeply unfunny randos I follow on Instagram doing the most with 1 minute of precious recording tie, what of the #brands? Commercials suck, but commercials on a platform that feels like it’s “fun” sucks way more. Thoughts!??!
Rebecca: I concede that my sincere, sincere hope is that branded content doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken and take advantage of the extra time. Goodness knows I find it grating to sit through 15 seconds of YouTube commercials. At least with Insta you can scroll right past; you’re not stuck weeping silently to yourself, listening to some cheery voice actor praising the name of Cheez-Its when all you want to do is watch Zelda theory videos, for the love of all that is good and holy.