Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom said at the official launch that ‘the way we watch videos is out of date’, he claims that we watch videos in a format intended for a wide screen television on our smartphones, which results in either holding the phone in portrait mode and watching a small square in the middle of the screen or awkwardly holding the phone to the side to watch videos in full screen, this is why IGTV will primarily display videos as portrait in a 16:9 format.
But how will entertainment be perceived within a 9:16 frame?
Instagram is well equipped to handle creator communities – the only challenge that could arise is whether or not long-form video can flourish in a vertical format. For shorter videos, it’s never been an issue but people aren’t used to sitting down and watching an hour-long video or show in portrait mode. Only time will tell how successful Instagram will be with this venture.
As for Facebook, who own Instagram, they have also been trying to push long-form video over short form by cracking down on ‘cheap videos’, they have issued a warning that videos such as memes, gifs and short looping videos will be de-prioritised in on the news feed over the next few weeks. So, if you’re hoping to keep your video posts relevant, think long-form!
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