Move over TikTok, Instagram is a video-sharing app now. Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri recently made the bold statement in a video posted to his Instagram.
Why the change for the more than 10-year-old app? According to Mosseri, the number one reason people log on is to be entertained. Video is the best way to do that.
And exactly how many people are looking to the app for entertainment? This year, for the first time ever, we’re talking a billion-plus, with an estimated 1.074 billion users across the globe.
This is good news for small businesses trying to make a splash online – video can be your superpower. Engage with new and existing customers, inspire people to buy a product, book an appointment … all while making a genuine connection with your audience. We could go on.
With continuous change engrained in Instagram’s DNA, it’s important to keep up with what’s happening, especially when it comes to video. We’ve decided to break it all down, defining the various video-focused terms you need to know.
Instagram Terms for the Video Novice
Stories. Blink and poof – they’re gone. Well, not quite. Instagram Stories can be photos or videos, but once posted, they have a limited shelf life, disappearing in just 24 hours.
When posting Stories, users can incorporate elements such as polls or questions which are great for interacting with your audience. In addition, the editing suite features a variety of fun filters like “90stethic” or “Sparkles.”
An important note about Stories: they don’t live in your feed. Rather, Stories are posted at the top of the app, and you can save them as “Highlights” (those little circles you see on pages, below the bio).
Reels. Want something a little more permanent? Instagram Reels allow users to create 15 to 30-second videos to share with their audience. Unlike Stories, these videos live in the Reels tab on the creator’s profile and they don’t disappear.
Reels also offer an editing suite with popular music and effects. Users can scroll trending Reels through the Reel’s icon at the bottom of Instagram’s app home page.
IGTV. Need more than 30 seconds? IGTV focuses on long-form videos with a minimum length of 60 seconds and a maximum time of an hour (when posted from the web). While there is a specific tab dedicated to IGTV, users are also able to share a 15-second preview on their feed.
Posting these 15-second clips is a great way to direct traffic to these longer-form videos.
IGTV Shopping. Speaking of IGTV, it’s changing the way people make purchases. Now users can shop products right from a video. Rather than hoping viewers will find their way to that link in your bio, creators just have to tag shoppable products within the video.
But that’s not all, Instagram Checkout, allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the app. Talk about ease of doing business, you can buy a product with just 2 taps.
IG Live. Want to interact with your audience in real-time? Broadcast to your followers with IG Live. Once a live stream ends, you have the option to share a replay to IGTV or access it in your Live Archive.
Additionally, the video host has the option to download the video. It’s important to note, downloading will only save the video and not things like likes, comments or viewers.
Live Rooms. Taking IG Live one step further, Live Rooms enables creators to broadcast up to three users simultaneously. According to Instagram, the goal of Live Rooms is to open up more opportunities for creativity and collaboration for example talk shows or panel discussions.
Ranking Algorithm. This might sound like a complicated techy term, and it kind of is. Thankfully Instagram has recently shed some light on how their Ranking Algorithm works – particularly for Reels. Or, in layman’s terms, how people see your videos.
In this Instagram Post, the company shares some major updates including how it determines which Reels each user might like and what factors limit a Reel’s distribution. What’s most important for small business owners, like yourself, is how you can boost a Reel’s reach. According to Instagram, it comes down to 4 key signals:
Similar to Facebook and TikTok’s algorithms, we can expect that Instagram will follow suit and change and update its algorithm over time.
Now’s the Time to Dive into Content Creation
Instagram is a great place for small businesses to put their best face, product or service forward. With a variety of ways to create and share content, the possibilities are endless.
We understand that creating video content can be intimidating, but the best part about platforms like Instagram: You don’t need to be perfect. No one expects overly produced videos or professional actors on these types of social channels.
You can grow your audience and your business simply by creating fun, creative, inexpensive content.