Since Instagram video launched a week ago, the world has gone crazy for sharing their micro films. But is adding video to everyone’s favourite photo sharing app a good thing?
Earlier in the week I came across this guide on etiquette for Instagram video users; after I’d snorted my way through it I decided to put together my own version.
1. Check your auto-play settings. It’s not cool to make people shit themselves when your video of the cat hissing suddenly springs into life as they scroll through their feed.
2. Don’t share for the sake of it. Even if you’re amazing at taking photos with Instagram, you probably won’t be as good with video. Although the developers have worked to reduce camera shake, included start and stop functionality and distracted us with some new filters, there still aren’t many editing options for video. Plus how many of us use at least one other app on our images before we upload them to Instagram? A lot of the best quality images come from professional photographers who use their DSLR to take the photo. A barely edited video on your phone isn’t going to be as high quality.
3. Try not to get too carried away by the excitement. Think about what you post. If you usually share gorgeous, well composed photos, why would you share crappy video that you haven’t put the same effort into?
4. Don’t forget about Vine. Despite all the articles arguing that the introduction of video to Instagram is going to kill off Vine, there’s no reason why you can’t use both. Just because Instagram has novelty value at the moment, don’t forget about the service that you loved a week ago. No doubt Vine will soon be launching some fabulous updates to reclaim their social video app crown.
5. Don’t post video as often as photos. Images will always be at the core of Instagram (I hope). Even the videos appearing in your feed have a cover shot. People will appreciate your micro films more if they add something to your profile, rather than overwhelm your previously stellar photographic efforts. Plus, too many videos will screw up everyone’s load time and they’ll just unfollow you.
6. If you want to stand out, make your videos useful or creative. Right now everyone wants to experiment with Instagram video. That means dimly lit moving selfies, clips of animals (guilty, sorry) and people making coffee. If you’re a blogger or a brand, why not film a short how-to segment. For those with a few skills, push the boundaries – stop-motion films would work really well in this format.
7. Make your videos original; don’t just repurpose your Vines. If you already use the Twitter video app, it might be tempting to reshoot the same videos, just a few seconds longer. Hell, they don’t even have to be 15 seconds so you could use the exact same videos. But if you make the effort to keep the two channels distinct, you’ll end up with a bigger, more engaged following.
What do you think of Instagram video so far: #love or #epicfail? Personally, I think I’ll leave it to those who know what they’re doing!