Instagram Furthers Commitment To Short-Form Video Content

Instagram is taking a hard stance against the facilitation of long-form video content on the platform, according to a recent Reel from Instagram head Adam Mosseri, who stated that the longer videos go against the app's ethos in terms of connection and engagement rates. 

“A creator asked me recently, ‘Are we going to do long-form video on Instagram?’ and the answer is no,” said Mosseri, adding that at the heart of the platform “there are two jobs: one, connecting you with friends, and two, helping you explore your interests, usually through short-form video.”

Mosseri goes on to call these two jobs “symbiotic” -- in the sense that when a user sees an entertaining video, they are moved to send it to their friend.



“It turns out, longform video is less symbiotic with these other jobs,” Mosseri explains. “If you watch a 10- or 20-minute video, you see less content from friends, you interact with your friends less, and you’re actually less likely to send that content or that video to a friend.”

In explaining what users will see more of on the app, Mosseri is also making the case to Instagram creators and brands to prioritize short-form video, since the algorithm will be doing this as well.

The Meta executive describes this platform-wide shift to short-form video as part of Instagram's core identity, although there was no mention of photo-sharing, which, historically has been the core identity of the platform.

Creators and users had mixed reactions and emotions with regard to Mosseri's statement, with some people expressing disdain for the prioritization of short-form video in that such a shift pushes the importance of mindless content, while others understand that they should post their longer content to YouTube.

Mosseri’s statement comes at a time when leading social-media platforms are reinventing themselves in response to competition and the threat of extinction. 

TikTok has been increasing its video-upload length and introducing related features such as full-screen mode, fast-forward capability and creator-incentives for longer videos, all to compete with YouTube.

Beyond Instagram’s claim to prioritize short-form video for the sake of connections, the company could also be preparing to fill a gap left if TikTok fails to block the U.S. sell-off bill that would likely ban the app for all users in the country if it is passed.

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