What’s new: week of June 20, 2013 – Instagram launches video and the adtag is born

The rumours are true.

Today, Instagram announced it’s adding video to its platform, currently home to 130 million monthly users. The goal is to offer motion while staying true to their core principles of simplicity, beautiful images and community.

So what differentiates it from Vine?

The videos are 15 seconds long and you can delete and replace a portion as you’re shooting and not have to start over from scratch. Users can choose one of 13 new filters, have the ability to select a cover frame image and access the same social sharing options we already know. And Instagram launched an exclusive feature called ‘cinema’, which stabilizes your shaky videos and makes them easier to view. 

Last week Instagram’s adoptive parent, Facebook, made news of its own when it announced it’s recognizing hashtags (almost reminiscent of countries in the UN…I recognize the State of…).

Which leads me to believe the new social media battle lines have been drawn:
It’s the ad space and it’s visual. 

Mike Isaac at AllThingsD wrote about the impact of Facebook joining the ranks of the ‘hashtageratti’ (my word, I think). Now they’re set to compete with Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and Instagram and serve up ads relating to trending topics and hashtag searches. There are pro and con arguments to this: more relevance on the plus side, constant unwanted yet semi-relevant interruptions on the minus.

Forget the hashtag as information organizer, think of it more like the adtag. The equivalent to our standing in a mall and casually remarking to friends, boy I could use a pair of new pants, and then having store clerks rush out to help us.

Meanwhile Twitter’s Amplify program enables TV networks to serve promoted tweets related to the content their audience is sharing on the second screen.  And Viggle is a loyalty app that offers points for watching shows and ads (it hears the content). Apple announced iTunes Radio is creating the iAd, video ads that target people listening to pre-programmed music.

And Google/YouTube is about to start teaching brands how to make more viral video content. That’s something BuzzFeed is already doing for agencies with its Social Storytelling Creator Program.

Over 100 years ago, retail pioneer John Wanamaker famously said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.” And today? According to Comscore, nearly half of online ads never get seen.

Similar ratio. The only difference is in our new digital world we can now measure which half.

What do you think? Has the new ad app landed or is there lots more to come?

About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.


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