This past June, Instagram rolled out a huge update to the popular photo sharing app. One of the big new features was support for video, a move which was likely in response to the popularity of Vine. One notable difference, though, is that videos on Instagram can be as long as 15 seconds, easily eclipsing the six second limit imposed on Vine.
In any event, an Instagram update yesterday removed the ability for users to disable auto-play on videos. Instead, videos will auto-play albeit on mute. Interestingly enough, Engadget points out that the update comes a few months before ads will begin appearing in users' photo streams.
Indeed, Instagram just a week ago noted that including both photo and video ads in user streams is part of their monetization strategy.
We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business. In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you're in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow. We'll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.