The BBC has begun experimenting with using Instagram video as a way of distributing bitesize news reports.

Though the Beeb has been using Instagram video for some time, up to now the clips were just repurposed TV news footage. 

The new ‘#Instafax’ short form news service uses content specifically created for Instagram, with each video including a selection of images and facts that give a very brief outline of the story. 

It’s described as being “very experimental” at this stage and it’s great to see the BBC trialling innovative methods of sharing news and connecting with a younger audience.

However one obvious problem is that you can’t link to other sites from Instagram, so the BBC can’t use it as a tool for directing people to its website to find out more about the stories. 

Top Instagram videos

Often brands use Instagram video simply as away of posting product or event footage, but there are a number of marketers also creating short, shareable content within Instavid’s 15-second format.

Our own Christopher Ratcliff blogged the most shared Instagram videos last year, with MTV proving to be the most popular brand with a total of 134,110 shares.

MTV’s most shared videos come from the MTV News ‘need to know’ strand. This particular Instavid reveals the five new album releases due out soon that MTV viewers are most likely to want.

Other ‘need to know’ videos include film release dates and important pop culture dates for your diary.  

GoPro, Wendy’s, Starbucks and HBO have also created some great Instavids, examples of which can be seen in Christopher’s post.

Dazed and Confused magazine

Dazed and Confused magazine has been using Instagram video to promote its series of documentaries and art films.

Its Instavids are uniformly excellent and a joy to watch, making them hugely shareable and no doubt gaining Dazed some excellent brand exposure.

For example, this video has more than 1,000 ‘likes’... 

But as with the BBC’s videos, Dazed suffers from the fact that Instagram doesn’t allow users to put hyperlinks in the comments section

Consequently viewers have to open their web browser and type in the URL, which is a small barrier to entry but one which will definitely prevent a large proportion of people from navigating to Dazed’s website. 

David Moth

Published 20 January, 2014 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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