Facebook boosted Instagram’s video power on Tuesday, taking a big step in its path of becoming a video behemoth. With the latest update, it is now possible for Instagram users to record videos of up to one minute, which is longer than the previous load of 15 seconds.
Rising popularity of Instagram
Presently, Facebook has made the update available to a small group of users, but as Instagram has stated on its blog, it will expand to all users in a few months. In February, the social networking giant offered advertisers on Instagram the freedom to post ads of 60-second duration versus the previous duration of 30 seconds.
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In a blog post announcing the video expansion, Instagram said that in the last six months, an increase of over 40% has been seen in the time spent by users in watching videos on the platform. About three years ago, Facebook started testing ads on Instagram, and just one month ago, the company revealed that the number of advertisers on Instagram has crossed the mark of 200,000.
Facebook closely monitors user engagement and satisfaction before expanding ads, and now it will be able to closely monitor and analyze the level of activity and viewer engagement with longer-form videos on the Instagram platform.
How important is Instagram for Facebook?
Advertising is a major contributor to Facebook’s revenue with 96% of its total revenue coming from this source. Among all forms of advertising, video ads are sold at a premium price. Google-owned YouTube is used the most for viewing videos, while Facebook occupies second place.
Facebook does not reveal the amount of revenue it generates from Instagram, but analysts estimate that its sales could exceed $1 billion this year. Analysts believe Instagram is a key revenue catalyst for the social media leader. Company executives say Facebook and Instagram serve as the two most important mobile ad platforms for the company.
Facebook is competing with tech giants, such as Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and others, to attract more advertisers. But to its advantage, it has multiple growth engines, and Instagram is just one of them with Messenger and WhatsApp being the other two. While Instagram has more than 400 million users, WhatsApp has about 900 million users and Messenger more than 800 million.