The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “people familiar with the matter” claim that Facebook-owned Instagram is preparing to allow users to post long-form videos.
Currently, Instagram allows users to share recorded videos of up to 60 seconds in length and while live video feeds may last one hour.
But increasing the limit for recorded videos from 60 seconds to 60 minutes may bring professional content providers and more digital marketers to the platform.
And this could become a real threat to YouTube, which has carved its niche to be the go-to social media streaming platform.
The article further suggests that Instagram is already in discussions with professional publishers and content providers to bring original content to the app.
But the sources also claim that currently Instagram “will focus on vertical video or video that is taller than it is wide.”
By comparison, YouTube has ventured into high-end 4K video and is trying to establish itself as an alternative programming source on the TV screen in people’s homes.
Small content providers are already upset with changes to its monetization policies that effectively shut out smaller channels or lesser watched videos.
Instagram Could Embrace The Small Content Providers and Digital Marketers
Instagram, which upgraded its features to compete with the emerging threat of Snapchat has also recently introduced more eCommerce integrations.
From shoppable posts to testing payment services, Instagram is becoming a bit more like an eCommerce marketplace.
And since eCommerce is increasingly moving toward the mobile screen, there is no immediate need for Instagram to embrace the wide video format.
Small content providers would simply adjust their production to focus on the Instagram format that is perfect for mobile devices.
If the extended video feature does roll out, digital marketers could simply change their production processes to include the vertical video format for pre-roll and in-content video ads.
The smaller video format by Instagram also allows small online businesses with limited resources to use a smartphone to produce product demos.
With today’s modern smartphones it is possible to shoot, edit, and publish a reasonable quality video that will work well on mobile screens.
If those video posts could then become shoppable with direct links to eCommerce stores, Instagram could immediately leap ahead of eBay, Etsy, and other marketplaces in providing more engaging visual content to shoppers.
And Facebook has shown off at developer conferences a lot of AR and VR technologies that are not yet available on either platform. One day, that could come into play as well.
READ MORE: Facebook F8 Developer Conference Highlights
There are many different ways Instagram could take this feature.
But going after a niche that YouTube appears to have abandoned a bit, Instagram could position the visual social media platform to take advantage of changing consumer behavior and better monetize the service.
If this rumor turns into an actual feature, can you see it becoming a competitor to YouTube for small content providers? Head over to our Facebook Discussion Group or use the comments section below.