Wired are reporting that Instagram are rolling out new curated collections of video based around events, giving Instagram users a similar facility to Snapchat’s Discover.
At the moment Instagram’s video channel is only available to users in the U.S. Launched on Halloween weekend, with uploaded user content being curated by Instagram staff, it is being presented as the start of a new video strategy;
“This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community,” a spokesperson told Re/code in an email, adding that this is “just the start” for these kinds of curations.
Strategyeye Digital notes that this is Instagrams first curated content project, but that it follows a general trend amongst the social networks, leading to the opening up of these platforms as news channels.
Instagram’s first foray into this space was built around Halloween, but with 400m monthly active users worldwide, more than Twitter’s 320m and Snapchat’s 100m, there’s huge potential for to begin challenging these firms in delivering real-time content from sports or other events. With the US presidential election just 12 months away the three will compete to become the go-to mobile platform for updates and potentially breaking news.
As Instagram turns five years old, Mădălina Ciobanu has been writing for Journalism.co.uk about the way news organisations already use the platform for distribution and publication of news. She looks at BBC Short (15 second, self contained video stories which work with or without sound) and Go Figure content which is published across multiple social media channels, including Instagram. Go Figure was designed specifically for Instagram and shows the week in news via a series of still images annotated with figures illustrating current news items.
La Cronaca Italiana on the other hand has been experimenting with using its Instagram feed as an open platform for their community of readers;
“We just told them to tell stories – through images of landscapes, people, jobs, but especially, with emotions, “Iannuzzi said, “we never had to moderate any of the material that came through.” He added that some of the images the editorial team hadn’t necessarily thought of sharing on Instagram, such as pictures of regional food or traditions, became the most successful and “people in those communities taught us how we should tell their stories”.
CNN International, also uses instagram for news gathering and executive producer Linnie Rawlinson told Ciobanu about a recent project called My India, which gathered 2000 responses from user contributors.
“It gave us an authentic look into the country and I think those views and insights are the ones you simply can’t see if you just have a relatively limited team of journalists there,” Rawlinson said. “If you think about the structure of a traditional newsroom, partnering with platforms such as Instagram actually gives you access to millions of extra potential journalists who can contribute to stories.”