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60-Second Instagram Videos: For the Creative Class AND the Data Geek

On the heels of an announcement that it would be moving to an algorithmic feed, Instagram shared this week that videos on the network will go from 15 seconds max to 60 seconds max…and here’s the kicker: they mean organic videos, not just ads.

Video Creators on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo

This update is big news for both creators and data-driven marketers.



According to Instagram’s announcement, over the last six months, time spent watching video on the network has increased by 40%. This means the opportunity to impress, entertain, and convert viewers is greater than ever.

For the Creative Class

Instagram brands itself as a creator’s network, with influencers at the core, and this extension is a signal of that focus.

As we found in our 2015 Instagram Influencer Report,  the most-followed accounts on Instagram aren’t brands; they’re influencers like Ciara or Kim Kardashian. Just as relevant to marketers are the niche influencers who are known and respected within specific industries and segments.

The Top 10 Instagram Influencers by Engagement
The Top 10 Instagram Influencers by Engagement

For brands, partnering with these micro-influencers is a great way to get in front of a targeted group of potential customers. These are people who gained their audience by producing high quality content, and Instagram has just given them more flexibility to get creative with the visual stories they tell on the network.

Instagram is also bringing back the ability for iOS users to create videos from multiple clips in their camera roll. This is another way for influencers, who don’t always have a full production studio, to leverage Instagram as a tool.

For the Data Geeks

Brands are posting more than ever before on Instagram, and while video engagement has risen, it hasn’t caught up to photos.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 4.01.10 PM
This chart shows the average photo and video engagement-per-post of the Interbrand 100 during November, 2015.

More flexibility is always better for a marketer, especially one who tests and optimizes content based on data. What can you do with 60 seconds that you couldn’t with 15?

Instagram has already started showing “views” on posts, and if the network follows Facebook’s suit, it’ll eventually share data about view length. Understanding what is getting your followers to stop and watch a clip is as important on Instagram as anywhere else.

Flexibility Is Always Good

Whether you’re a data geek or a creative type (or a bit of both), this new update gives you the flexibility to develop better-quality videos that your audience will want to watch, however long they are. And isn’t that the point?


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The 2015 Instagram Industry Report


Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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