Instagram's toolset is beginning to diverge for users and advertisers. Since September businesses have been able to upload 30-second video ads -- double the length available to regular users -- and starting this week that limit is being increased to a minute. Warner Bros. and T-Mobile are among the first brands to utilize the extra time, injecting extended film trailers and Drake-centric Superbowl ads into people's feeds. Neither are particularly innovative, but it's notable that the extra time makes them feel more like traditional advertising and less like shareable, social snippets.
For Instagram, this is an obvious move to further monetize its popular photo and video-sharing platform. The way the company handles ads isn't as intrusive as something like YouTube -- as a user, you don't have to wait to scroll past and see what your followers have been posting -- but the nature of the feed means it's still hard to ignore them completely. That, combined with its 400 million users, makes Instagram an attractive place for companies to spend their ad dollars. For normals, however, it means the service might feel just a little more commercialized than before.