Instagram Video And Facebook Hashtags Borrow Twitter’s Model

Yesterday saw the big announcement that Facebook has been hinting at for weeks: video for Instagram, in the form of short 15-second clips. The basic intention of playing catchup to Vine is obvious, but in combination with Facebook’s support for hashtags, the shift in direction indicates an even larger shift towards branding and marketers. Hashtags are a convenient way to organize real-time conversation and create an anchor for people to connect to trending topics – and that’s precisely what marketers want, to be a part of these big discussions. Facebook’s prior ad model, in essence, makes the consumer a pitch-man for a product that they might or might not genuinely enjoy. But the new video and hashtag functions, in combination with the elimination of promoted stories, signals an about face. And it’s no accident that Instagram videos are 15 seconds long, the same exact length as the average TV commercial. Facebook and Twitter are now facing off in a veritable battle for real-time broadcast advertising.