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Online video is playing a bigger role in everyone’s life. Ninety-six percent of people say they’ve increased their video consumption and now spend an average of 100 minutes a day watching online videos. As the demand for video grows, social media platforms like Instagram are taking note. To compete, the platform is testing a new full-screen home feed.

What is Instagram’s new full-screen feed?

To provide a more immersive video experience, Instagram is introducing a full-screen home feed. A small percentage of Instagram users will see videos and photos at 9 by 16, which means content will be taller than usual and take up more of the screen. 

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced the update on the app, explaining the platform’s shifting focus to be more video-friendly:

Instagram says most of the navigation in the app will remain the same, with buttons on both the top and bottom of the screen. Experts believe Instagram will eventually roll all content types into this updated layout, making it easier for users to catch up in one scrollable feed. 

The feature is only in testing phases right now, but experts predict the shift will go mainstream in the coming months.

What’s driving the demand for video? 

You don’t have to look hard for statistics that show just how influential video is becoming. People crave video. This quick snapshot of statistics proves it:

  • 85% of American internet users watch videos online. [Statista]
  • 82% of global internet traffic in 2022 will come from streaming video and downloads. [Cisco]
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands or businesses they support. [Hubspot]

But, what’s fueling this surge in video? There are a few factors at play, including: 

TikTok’s popularity 

Many platforms have mimicked the newest kid on the block, TikTok. The channel burst onto the social scene in 2016 and quickly became the fastest-growing social platform. The appl hit 1 billion monthly active users in the fall of 2021 — a milestone it took Facebook much longer to achieve.

Competing platforms have introduced similar short-clip clones. Facebook and Instagram launched Reels in 2020 and a few months later YouTube introduced Shorts

In its most recent earnings call, Meta, the owner of Instagram, shared with its stakeholders that Reels now account for 20% of the total time people spend on the platform. Its quick adoption reinforced a growing trend: Video is king.

Streaming abilities are now more accessible

TikTok isn’t the only driving force behind video’s surge; improved internet speeds are another.

Today, however, an estimated 75% of American homes have high-speed internet, according to Pew Research. Plus, many cell phones are now equipped with 5G, a cellular internet connection designed to provide faster speeds and better download capabilities. 

Simply put, people can now watch videos just about anywhere.    

It’s so easy to shoot videos

All you need to shoot a video is a smartphone. That’s it. 

Smartphone cameras offer features that make it easy for one person to shoot a video. Cameras “flip” so you can see yourself on camera, set up the shot, and hit record. Most smartphones even offer the ability to trim the video and add some basic effects to it. 

With a few pieces of gear, like a tripod and clip-on light, you can boost your video quality. You might even invest a few bucks in an editing app to manipulate more aspects of your video. Even these additional investments are affordable and user-friendly — yet another reason video is so popular.

There’s no denying that video is in high demand. As a result, social media channels must evolve to cater to the needs of its users. Instagram’s full-screen feed is likely the first shift of many in the social video evolution.

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