Instagram debuts curated video feed in time for Halloween

2 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Instagram Debuts New Curated Video Offering for Halloween.

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.Instagram debuted a new feature in its Explore section on Halloween — one that seems to channel the best of Twitter Moments and Snapchat to create a rolling video stream.The new channel is curated by the massive social network’s employees who sift through user generated videos to find and display some of the most popular videos surrounding particular events, such as Halloween.

The feature, which can be found by swiping through the Explore Carousel invites the user to “Watch Halloween.” After clicking the play button, a curated video roll appears. A spokesperson for the social media company told Re/code in an email that the Halloween event was “just the start” of these types of curated video feeds and that they’re “a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community.” Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for approximately $1 billion worth of cash and stock back in 2012, intends for their new curated video feeds surrounding events to be, according to Wired, two parts entertainment and one part “straight-up news.” During the recent Halloween curation, which reportedly ended on Sunday, Instagram’s more than 400 million monthly active users were given the opportunity to suggest posts for the company’s employees to consider by tagging them with the hashtag #IGHalloween. Just in time for Halloween, the Instagram feature—which doesn’t have a snappy name of its own just yet—appeared as a little advertisement of-sorts at the top of users’ explore tabs. 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. The videos feature filmmaker Zach King — who’s popular on social media — pranking a trick-or-treater, model Heidi Klum getting ready for Halloween and Astronaut Scott Kelly acting creepy aboard the International Space Station.

Nicki Minaj shared an Instagram video on Halloween night in which she commands a woman in a wheelchair to walk while dressed as a fairy princess equipped with a fake magic wand. The International Business Times reports that the video has sparked controversy amongst those who allege that the 32-year-old “Truffle Butter” rapper is making fun of a disabled person in the video.

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. Immortal News previously reported on Instagram’s enabling of web-based sign ups (new user registrations) for computer users, however, the social networking giant has since temporarily taken the sign up page down, possibly to resolve any potential issues prior to its official debut.

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. People love to come together and celebrate big events on Instagram, so it makes a lot of sense to do this on Halloween, which is one of our biggest days.” Twitter has already taken a whack at packaging social media content around a single event with its Moments feature. 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.

Once each video clip is over, the next one automatically plays, but you can also swipe up to scroll through and then tap on the screen to start the roll again. Starting at 1pm on Saturday, Americans can pull up the app, click on the explore tab, and land in an immersive video viewer that will allow them to watch programming from all over the country. 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. 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. From Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters, community director Amanda Kelso, dressed as Princess Leia, and more than a half dozen costumed members of her team will be sifting through posts to select and stream content while product manager Layla Amjadi makes sure the technology works without a glitch. 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. They aim to capture every aspect of the holiday, from videos of the crowds gathered on Sixth Avenue for New York’s annual parade to videos produced by prominent artists to those taken in Anoka, Minnesota (Halloween Capital of the United States, seriously). 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.) Even so, Twitter has still been better positioned to surface important events because it has had a more robust search engine and better tools for discovery. Earlier this year, that began to change as Instagram overhauled its Explore page to make it easier for users to discover new and trending information.

The cheeky selfie-sharing service has several popular video products: On its Discover platform, video channels offer programming produced by major media companies and advertisers. It also has Snapchat Live, which broadcasts a string of user-created videos near you as well as coverage of big events like the recent Republican debates. Snapchat’s photos are meant to be consumed and destroyed—they literally disappear—whereas Instagram posts are designed to document and provide an archive.

At the time, it was perceived to be a flop because users didn’t immediately take to it with the enthusiasm they had shown for the core photo product.

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