Instagram’s new update takes aim at Snapchat and Twitter

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Instagram Launches A Curated Feed Around Events, Starting With Halloween.

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.Not to be outdone by ephemeral messaging app Snapchat that has amassed a substantial user base in just a few years Instagram has now created its own curated content streams for popular events, right off the bat these streams sounds quite like Snapchat Stories, which are also curated streams of public snaps attached to a popular event.

The Halloween story showed off featured trending tags, popular related posts and a ‘live story’ of content shared to the service, manually curated by Instagram employees. 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. Instagram’s streams debut with Halloween, the relevant popular event these days, app users are being directed to “Watch Halloween’s Best Videos” via a new prompt at the top of their feed. You can cycle through different video clips 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. 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. When users tap on the prompt they will be taken to a new content feed that only features video content curated by the Facebook-owned company’s employees, it calls the video feed “immersive,” which basically means that videos look good on the display as they’re shown without the usual border, like count and text description that normally accompanies an Instagram post.

According to Recode, Instagram said that this is “just the start” for these types of stories on the service, as the company wants to help make it easier to find interesting content relating to events. 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. Celebrities aren’t the only Instagram users highlighted by the new feature, which is also being promoted on the app’s homepage. “This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community,” Gabe Madway, an Instagram spokesperson, told Mashable in an email. “There’s a ton of great video on Instagram, and we wanted to bring it all into one viewing experience. In the future, Instagram might give the company a run for its money, since its stories are inherently more shareable but that depends on how frequently the company does them.

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.

It’s not just a shot across the bows of Facebook, either: It’s also a push to try and capture some of Twitter’s share of the breaking news market. Instagram continues to pull away from Twitter in terms of user numbers (400 million vs 320 million), but Twitter is still the place many people go to when they want to monitor something live and in the moment. 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.

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. 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.

At the moment, that’s all the confirmation we have that these new channels are now a part of Instagram, though you can expect a more official announcement in the near future. 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. 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). 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.

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. But Instagram’s founders have always said it was growing at a steady pace.Many of the most creative videos are put together by visual artists and cinematographers.

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