Instagram may have been down for hours, but it's back with an arguably overdue change to how the social network handles videos. The Facebook brand is merging its long-form IGTV format with the regular videos from your feed, leaving just one format for all Instagram footage — you won't have to distinguish between the two. We've asked Instagram if this will lead to longer videos playing directly in your feed, but there will always be a Video tab in profiles to explore more content.
The move might help Instagram-based creators, too. While they'll still have to produce long-form video to qualify for ads (now called Instagram In-Stream video ads), they should have an easier time reaching viewers who would have glossed over IGTV in the past. Instagram is also merging post and video insights into a single metric.
You may have an easier time polishing that video, too. Instagram is bringing a few common editing features to its videos, including trimming, filters, location tags and people tags. Still images have had filters and tags for a while, of course, but this theoretically puts moving pictures more on par. You may have an easier time finding videos linked to a friend or a memorable concert.
The merger could boost uptake for Instagram video. IGTV demand wasn't what Instagram expected, and this update makes the longer video format more accessible, not to mention less confusing. Creators might be more inclined to share videos on Instagram as a result — and that might help the social media giant better compete against TikTok, YouTube and other video-focused heavyweights.