Is there a place for an Instagram video?
That’s the question all investors are asking themselves right now: where is the new Instagram? It must be said that those who participated in Instagram’s last roundtable, which had placed the value of the application at “Only” $ 500 million in April, almost overnight doubled the value of their investment. Not to mention those who invested even earlier.
But don’t we forget a bit quickly Youtube (bought in 2006 by Google for 1.65 billion dollars), you will say? The fact is that one of the peculiarities of Instagram is to be not only “mobile first” but practically “mobile only”. But YouTube is lagging behind on mobile: you can’t even upload a video from your iPad application!
Is it too early for the video?
But if YouTube lags behind mobile, it is especially mobile that lags behind video: if taking a photo in the street and uploading it to Instagram takes a few seconds, doing the same with a video is good. longer in 3G. Instagram has defined itself as a social network of the moment. Difficult to play the same role if the sharing takes several minutes.
Of course, we can consider that it is only a matter of time before the democratization of 4G and LTE networks solves this problem, but there will always be another one that will not go away, him: watching a video, c t is longer and more complicated than looking at a photo. A photo is viewed immediately, automatically, whereas a video requires a press of a “play” button and implies a choice to do it or not… then to watch until the end or not.
The experience of a video social network is much less fluid than that of an image network like Instagram or Pinterest. We have to stop and take time for each element, and therefore lose the experience of “flow” so important for users to spend time on a site or an application. It’s no coincidence that the recent success stories of Path, Pinterest and Instagram are all in the photo before the video.
It should be noted that Viddy solved these problems by limiting the length of his videos to 15 seconds… but so far, it is still the most popular Social Cam.
Another obstacle to the popularity of mobile video apps: if taking a decent photo is within the reach of a child, a quick trip to Viddy or Socialcam will tell you right away that knowing how to shoot without shaking, with interesting angles, is not possible. not to make incongruous camera movements, to control the sound… that is not given to everyone.
All that being said, it looks like mobile video is indeed a growing industry. SocialCam and Viddy have 41 and 36 million active Facebook users respectively, numbers exploding, but that could be attributed to the hype: after all, those of Pinterest fell back very quickly after an adjustment of Facebook, and Draw Something is falling as fast as it went up.
There is, however, a real underlying trend, as shown the study by Flurry, the time spent by Americans on video applications has increased steadily since 2011 and is gaining ground on YouTube:
Who will scare Facebook?
Investors looking for the “Instagram of video” may be showing a serious lack of imagination. If history has taught us anything, it’s that things won’t turn out so predictably: Silicon Valley’s greatest hits never come down to a simple “X of Y”. Facebook was not just the “Student Myspace”, since students were already on Myspace, Google was not the “Search Engine Yahoo”, Yahoo already had a search engine, and Instagram was not the Facebook of the photo, Facebook is already widely used for the photo.
YouTube, on the other hand, was taken over by Google because it scared them, their own Google Video wasn’t as successful, and Instagram scared Facebook. Instagram was doing better than Facebook on one of its “core products”, and Zuckerberg preferred to buy them out before they became too threatening.
Klip, Viddy or Socialcam could scare Facebook, or Google, or Twitter eventually, but before that, if there is to be a new Instagram, it will be a startup that does better than one of these giants on a of its “core products”. Pinterest does it do better than Facebook on sharing? Getglue does it do better on the expression of “like”? If you can answer the question “who is better than Google or Facebook?”, You might have the next Instagram.