DataInstagram: 60 sec. to control the ADV market

Leo Mauriello8 years ago9 min


The length of videos on Instagram goes from 15 to 60 seconds. Well, you may think…ok! Interesting! Maybe useful and less limiting…but where is the big news? As it often happens in the social world, the meaning of some choices is not evident at first. Increasing the length of videos, represents a business choice, not just a creative incentive. At stake there is the control of the rich video & social adv market.

What changes, is not just the length of the videos realized by users, but also the ads ones. The purpose is to make a commercial more engaging and integrated in the stream as the traditional TV never did before. A direct attack to their competitors when it comes to adv budgets but also to traditional media. Here’s why…

60 seconds video “It’s About Keeping users in the Feed”

Why focusing on 60 seconds videos? An interesting answer is given by Sephi Saphira CEO of Massive Impact, a leader society in the performance marketing “It’s about keeping users in the feed… Unlike YouTube where users jump from video to video, Instagram wants users to finish videos.” Basically the Instagram feed is focusing on a total fruition of the contents, trying to avoid the “skipping” phenomenon. Still Saphira explained that according to the metric analysis, the average time that it is spent between the beginning of a video and the first interaction with it – pausing it – is 60 seconds. It is basically a perfect timing to boost the permanence of users in the feed, avoiding the premature closure of the app.

An awareness that comes from the experience and expertise of Facebook, owner of Instagram, that in November 2015 got a record of 8 billion viewers per day…one of the next goals is the realization of an app that is focused exclusively of video fruition. 60 seconds represents the perfect length to open up to the creativity of musicians and performers, because they now have a higher chance to tell their stories and use Instagram as a personal branding media.

The Instagram management team declared that in 2015 there has been a spontaneous increase of video contents by 40%…and with such strong data they want to play an important role in this market, especially after the void left by YouTube. A decline that concerns also brands and advertisers, not only vlogger and youtubers.

Video Creators on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

Instagram and Snapchat: how social media are overcoming television

And now, let’s talk about business…moving from 15 to 60 seconds isn’t so ordinary: more band coverage, server resources…higher costs…but where is the advantage in all this?

60 seconds is the key timing of TV commercials…and every brand that wants to promote itself on TV has a 60 seconds commercial ready.

But then is Instagram imitating television? The truth is that this choice is not to imitate, but to allow brands and advertisers to limit their productive efforts by reusing their commercials in a multiplatform point of view (TV and social media), lowering the adv budget that there is for TV and traditional video circuits, and letting social networks take advantage of this.

Let’s take a step back. Instagram is the social that, more than any other, is focusing on branding awareness. The lack of direct links on posts and pictures and the consequent impossibility to have immediate conversions, made it from the beginning very similar to the TV promotional logic. Essentially is pure branding, a visual engagement, a subliminal interaction…and that is why it is so effective. It is a characteristic that has surely been considered when the adv platform was introduced

But if from one side bands are facilitated, from the other (as Facebook and Snapchat are trying to do), the ads are more and more engaging and usable in a new fresh way totally in sync with the stream. The 60 seconds choice follows an engagement logic, hoping for a new kind of relationship: more dynamic with users and influencers and more profitable with brands and advertisers.


Leo Mauriello

I'm characterized by a great curiosity, that drives me to achieve important goals and new challenges. I'm a web and digital marketer mainly focused on digital strategy and social advertising with design, programming and digital analyst skills.


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