The Instagram “Upgrade”


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As any good PR student knows, Instagram recently announced that it’s popular photo-sharing application would begin to feature 15-second video clips. Although many people believe Instagram is retaliating to the increased popularity of the Twitter Vine app, it was only a matter of time until they attempted the natural “upgrade” from photo’s to video. Think: newspaper vs. television.

Unfortunately, Instagram seems to be receiving an overwhelmingly negative response. The TechCrunch blog summed up the core mistakes of this change in a blog post: Video Killed the Instagram Star,

“It’s not just that Instagram failed to make video easier to create or more enjoyable to watch. It’s that, in shoehorning video into an app that users had previously used exclusively for photos, it ruined the core user experience for everyone.”

In summary, Instagram did not do anything new or unique in the introduction of video. Where Instagram “filters” have dominated the photo sharing side of social media, their video app truly is just an extra feature, shoved into a format designed exclusively for photography. Another blog, the Daily Dot, Vine is better than Instagram, pointed out that the videos distract from the simplicity of the photo feed. The Daily Dot also added that the 15-second videos offered by Instagram will never measure up to the creativity required of the 6-second vine videos. In fact, videos often take less creativity- and more of a viewer time commitment- than pictures.

So what is the deal? Did Instagram forget that the simplicity of photography is what helped it reach fame in the first place? Is it the result of a Facebook vs. Twitter vendetta?

Yes and no…

The social media world is notoriously fast-paced. In order to keep up and stay interesting, companies are constantly changing their capabilities and layout. These changes are almost always met with opposition, like Facebook timeline, but they are necessary to avoid fading into the sidelines. It’s not an vendetta, just social media “survival of the most exciting.” However, you HAVE to know your audience. When introducing a new feature you should always research the users and work to maintain the core attributes that draw people to you in the first place.

Instagram, you just didn’t actually introduce anything new or exciting, instead you may have compromised the simplicity that we all loved about you in the first place. However, some people, such as USA Today in the Instagram for Video Review, love the changes and maintain that due to your large following, you will be fine.

-Rebecca Martineau

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One thought on “The Instagram “Upgrade”

  1. Agreed. There was a beauty in telling stories through single, yet sometimes overly filtered, pictures. I don’t like it, but I guess I can understand the move with Vine’s surge in popularity.

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