A recent Instagram update lets you see the best videos without disrupting your main feed.
Its overhaul of the Explore page sees a string of new video channels with, most importantly, a personalised ‘Videos You Might Like’ feed which draws across the network. There are also various themed, hand-created channels, such as feature spotlights on specific creators and one for the Coachella festival, just like the ones that Instagram premiered in January. These new updates to the platform reinforce why it is important to include Instagram in your marketing strategies.
This new update came to iOS and Android back in 14 April, but hit the UK more recently. This is just one of the latest updates that Instagram has introduced in the last year, including improved content searchability, and the change in NewsFeed priority from time posted to algorithmic.
The announcement that Instagram was switching to an algorithmically sorted feed in March upset many users and pushed some followers to turn on notifications for their posts. This new feature puts more focus on the Explore page, enabling Instagram to benefit from using an algorithmic curation without actually disturbing what the users find most familiar.
Instagram has been gradually improving the Explore page over the years; it became more than just what is popular in 2012, it personalised the photos it published in 2014, and last year it added a ‘trends and places’ search.
So, where are these new channels on the page? They are cleverly inserted amongst the thumbnails of the photos on the Explore page. Once they have been opened, they play on a continuous loop, similar to that of the recent Snapchat update and the Watch button on Vine, creating a lean-back viewing experience. Instagram Stories was also added to the channel this month, which features temporary videos, just like Snapchat.
Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has just launched a video tab with channels of its own. Clearly, social networks are seeing the rise of mobile video viewing and are capitalising on it with new dedicated ways to watch these videos.
If Instagram can successfully encourage users to watch organic videos, it could make video ads much easier to swallow. By giving creators higher view counts, it can recruit more of them to its platform, in turn drawing in their fan bases who will, of course, see ads.
With mobile consumption become a daily fixture in our lives, thanks to faster connections, bigger screens, and new interfaces on apps such as Instagram, it is becoming much easier to watch clip after clip after clip.