Instagram Has No Plans To Monetize New Video Streams For Major Events
The social network rolled out a new immersive video feature for Halloween. It's similar to Snapchat Live Stories and Twitter Moments, but Instagram isn't looking to sell ads against it.
Like Snapchat and Twitter, Instagram is getting into the content curation game. On Saturday, Facebook’s visually oriented social network introduced a new way for people to follow major events, kicking off the effort on Halloween, the most Instagrammable of holidays.
If you opened the Instagram app in the US during the weekend, you were given the opportunity to “Watch Halloween’s Best Videos.” By tapping on the prompt, you were taken to a video-only feed created by Instagram’s community team. Within the feed, videos were displayed full-screen without the usual Instagram app trappings — the surrounding border, captions and like count.
“This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community,” a spokesperson explained in an email to Marketing Land, adding that Instagram plans to create similar streams for other big events and holidays in the future.
The Halloween channel — which you can still check out in the app by searching for the #Halloween hashtag — is a mix of posts from regular people and celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Heidi Klum, Reese Witherspoon and the Obamas from the White House account. The viewing experience is much more lean-back than the usual one on Instagram. Videos play automatically as you thumb through the feed, or you can just let the feed go, and each successive video plays one after the next.
The effort is very similar to Snapchat’s Live Stories feature, which pulls together people’s content from concerts, sporting events and other shared experiences, and Twitter’s recently launched Moments, curated stories made up of tweets about big events. They are all attempts to organize the flood of content about public events into a digestible format. Both Snapchat and Twitter are counting on selling these spaces and the attention they are gathering to advertisers, but for now Instagram says it has no plans to monetize the new feature.
Can Marketers Get In On The Action?
There’s no official way for brands to get into the channel, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Several were able to sneak into the Halloween mix, including one from a small business, a Halloween dance-off posted by the Palm Beach Improv comedy club.
The Muppets scored with a video of Rizzo the Rat showing off his Kermit the Frog costume. And Vogue Brasil’s video of Heidi Klum channeling Jessica Rabbit also made the cut: