Will Instagram video enhance or ruin the user experience?


Image credit: sillysallyproductions

I am passionate about photography and I am a believer of the famous saying ” one picture is worth one thousand word”. I enjoy good quality pictures and this why in 2008, during my MSc in Manchester, I bought an SLR camera, Canon 400D. I took a lot of shots and it made my master year a memorable one. But I cannot always have an SLR camera around me to capture the moment, instead Instagram does not replace it but offers me a product that is between an SLR and a Photoshop.

Instagram is an application available on iOS and android that empowers people to take pictures and edit them with 20 filters. Each of them giving a different style from black and white to vintage and other cool effects. Co-founder Kevin Systrom simply defines Instagram, as a way to learn, to connect, to remember, to laugh and to love. Instagram have grown into a 130 million community in nearly 3 years with 16 billion photos shared in total and 1 billion likes everyday.

Instagram enables me to share pictures instantly, tell my story and become an “arty” photographer without much effort. Today, it is making a bold move by introducing video. I tried it and I found the outcome quite amazing. On the day of its launch, on June 20, 2013, Vine, their main competitor, was highly affected by a 40% decrease in the numbers of Twitter shared videos.

Instagram video vs. Vine Image credit: readwrite

Instagram video vs. Vine Image credit: readwrite

This percentage speaks for itself and one can argue that Instagram video launch was a success. But my question today is: will Instagram video on the long-term enhance or ruin the user experience? It is an open question and the answers can vary from one person to another. I believe it’s going to ruin the user experience for the following reasons:

1- Instagram users expect pictures

From my understanding, users on Instagram sign up to see pictures and not videos on their feeds. Everyday, they take few minutes of their time to go on their app or desktop to scroll and double-tap to like their favorite photos. The experience is a very intimate one and the loudness of videos can ruin the user experience.

2- Instagram videos will create noise

Videos is a great way of expression and the way Instagram have designed it with 13 new filters and a cinema option that stabilises your video is really attractive and sexy. However, a video is something that you have to focus while watching it. A picture is another experience, you can look at it and if you don’t like it, simply scroll down to see other interesting content. Video and photos are two different experiences, one is passive, video, where a content is imposed onto you and the other one is active, pictures, where you can choose what content to look at.

Overall, these are the two main reasons why I believe Instagram video can ruin the user experience. I did not give up on Instagram and here is my first video. Also, with 40% decrease in their video sharing on twitter, Vine can be perceive as a looser. But, when I first heard about the launch of Instagram video, I created a Vine account. For me, it made sense that if I want to create videos, I need to invest time in an app that specialise in videos and most of all be part of a community who enjoys watching them. Where the future of Video is going to be on Instagram, Vine or both?

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