Instagram Ups Its Curation Game, Makes Spotlight Videos Permanent

You first saw Instagram's Spotlight Compilations on Halloween. Now you'll see them every day at the top of the Explore tab.

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Following in the footsteps of Twitter’s Moments and Snapchat’s Live Stories, Instagram is making content curation a permanent part of its user experience with video slideshows that show up on the Explore tab. As TechCrunch reported late Wednesday, Instagram is calling these “Spotlight Compilations.”

The video compilations debuted this past Halloween, when users were invited to “Watch Halloween’s Best Videos.” There, Instagram’s community team had collected a series of user-uploaded videos — from both celebrities and regular folks like you and me — that played in a full-screen slide show format.

Instagram has offered Spotlight Compilations a few other times since then but is now making them a permanent feature on the Explore tab.


An Instagram spokesperson tells us there are no plans right now to show Spotlight Compilations in the main feed. Instagram expects to show two or three curated video compilations at any given time, and new ones will circulate in every day or two. They’re only available to US users at the moment.

Instagram also reiterated what it told us back in November: There are still no plans to monetize these curated videos.

Short of monetization, Spotlight Compilations offer Instagram a way to increase user time inside the app, a way to help users discover new accounts to follow and — they surely must hope — a way to get users more interested in watching video. Because if and when the company decides it’s time to monetize its content curation efforts, video ads are likely where the big money is.

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About the author

Matt McGee
Matt McGee joined Third Door Media as a writer/reporter/editor in September 2008. He served as Editor-In-Chief from January 2013 until his departure in July 2017. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.

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