Instagram dabbles in curated collections with Halloween video push

2 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Instagram Debuts New Curated Video Offering for Halloween.

Instagram got into the Halloween spirit on Saturday by giving a fright to Snapchat and Twitter. Last night, Instagram proved that two different social networks can wear the same costume—it’s totally fine, even though the one who had the idea first might not love the move per se.It looked that way yesterday, when for Halloween, Instagram curated content in a special feed for users who wished to view Halloween-based content from their friends and others, reports Wired. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service, which now claims 400 million users, created a curated collection of Halloween videos posted to the service for Instagram users to view. “Watch Halloween’s best videos,” a banner notification at the top of Instagram’s mobile apps read over the weekend in the U.S. “Experience Halloween with videos from across the country.” Instagram told Recode that the curation trial with Halloween is “just the start” with more to come. “This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community,” an Instagram spokesperson told Recode.

However, Twitter recently unveiled Moments as one of the bigger product updates in the last year, letting users find all the best tweets around a specific event or topic without having to curate those tweets themselves. In June, Snapchat introduced a feature called Live Stories that compiles posts from a particular event into a single collection—a feature very reminiscent of the failed social app Color. Users on the Snapchat platform at a given event, location, or special day could tick off the channel for their specific event and throw that content into a Live Story.

Snapchat originally called it “Our Story” and its debut centered around the Electronic Daisy Carnival, an EDM festival in Las Vegas in June of 2014. As part of Instagram’s curated Halloween stream, users were able to click through and watch videos without the usual like count, text description and other bordering. You can cycle through different video clips (they auto-play), and if you’re interested in the creator of that piece of content, you can tap on their username and go directly to their profile or to that post. Although only one video album is currently displayed, it’s likely that others will soon be added, including those around politics (wait for the next Democrat presidential debate), the World Series, protests and rioting, Thanksgiving and other holidays, or anything major taking place around the world.

But in the meantime, if you’re still out trick-or-treating or are planning to, you can plan ahead and see if one of your Instagram videos gets chosen. Live Stories and Instagram’s new curated videos, meanwhile, appear to be attempts at staking a claim in the same territory as Twitter by highlighting as-it-happens content, bringing much-needed public features to these more intimate social networks.

According to the spokesperson, and a separate report from Wired, Instagram’s dabbling in Halloween videos is just the start of its big push into curated video content. It’s also quite possible we will see Instagram eventually incorporate ads into these channels, much as Twitter is doing through its recently introduced Promoted Moments. Moreover, the hashtag is actually used in these curated streams like Moments and Instagram’s Halloween feed, so the use of hashtags is integral to the formation of these feeds.

Currently, the company told Wired that it has no plans to open its channel to advertisers — it will likely take the time to review the situation in order to not compromise the user experience — but as it continues to expand its advertising offering, the introduction of ads is probably only a matter of time. And if you’re just reading this now after an all-morning candy binge, and are bummed you missed out on everyone else’s Halloween adventures, don’t worry: Instagram’s previous video offerings will allegedly be available to view as long as you want. Two years ago, Instagram debuted its video capability to the world, allowing users to assemble 15-second clips that rivaled Vine and other competitors.

If you need a little Halloween pick-me-up in January, you’ll still be able to get your costume fix. (And if you want to try to get your Halloween video in the feed, which Instagram is curating until midday today, just tag your videos #IGHalloween.) This new channel will give some of the best of those videos an even better chance of being discovered while encouraging users to discover new feeds to follow.

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