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With over 130 million users, photo-sharing site Instagram is an incredibly popular social media channel. Brands were eager to integrate Instagram into their social media strategies, uploading photos, running contests and promotions, and linking the site to other branded channels. Instagram’s popularity only increased when it released its video shooting feature. Users could now shoot, edit, and upload 15 second videos directly with the app. Unlike the photo feature of Instagram, which allow users to either take a photo directly from the app or to upload a photo, video was only able to be shot and produced straight from the site. While individual users embraced the new video features, brands were slower to adopt this feature, most likely over anxieties of creating a low-quality video. However, Instagram has made the video feature much more brand-friendly; the latest update allows users to upload finished, edited videos directly to Instagram.
The 4.1 version of Instagram for iOS and Android apps, which was released earlier in July, includes several feature updates, but the video upload capability is the one garnering the most attention. Brands can now professionally shoot and edit videos, and simply upload them to their Instagram accounts to engage with the app’s huge user base. Video has always been a valuable content marketing tool, as it is the most shareable type of content; allowing brands the ability to upload their professionally produced videos to a highly active social media channel, and cross promote these videos across additional channels, such as Facebook and Twitter.