For Instagram lovers, every new app update is a little virtual present waiting to be unwrapped. But after the app’s most exciting filter update to date, Instagram’s early February refresh isn’t exactly a crowd-pleaser. Instagram version 6.5.0 introduces only one feature: automatically looping video playback. (Yes, this one’s for #brands.)
The change is far more geared toward Instagram’s advertising aspirations than its 300 million users. As predicted, Instagram will veer toward building up its mobile revenue stream like its parent company. Just last quarter, Facebook brought in $3.85 billion in revenue, the majority of which came from its mobile ad efforts.
The decision to automatically loop Instagram videos will likely come as an annoyance to many users. Videos automatically replay on Twitter-owned Vine, but those are only six seconds long, compared to Instagram’s 15-second cutoff. Instagram has treaded lightly in introducing ads (promoted posts) onto its photo sharing platform. Today’s ad-friendly update might just be another signal of what’s to come as Facebook moves to monetize the well-loved app with a growth rate that outpaces Facebook itself.
Photo via Jessica Zollman/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)