Instagram now has ‘featured’ video channels

Instagram has launched a new feature in its explore section that will include video channels, providing an easier way to avoid those boring still images.

There are also going to be “featured” channels with “videos on specific topics,” Instagram noted in a blog post. Users will also be provided with a separate “videos you might like” channel.

The change comes just a month after Instagram incited a small panic by announcing that it would be switching from a timeline to an algorithm to determine what shows up in user feeds. Facebook also uses an algorithm for the newsfeed, something that gives it a significant amount of control over what its users see.

Pictured below is how a Coachella channel might look.

The Coachella channel is among the first big efforts to take advantage of the new feature and will provide users with a way to keep up with the music festival’s biggest moments.

Throughout the festival the channel will be updated with behind-the-scenes footage including the festival through the eyes of its performing acts.

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Instagram has been slowly warming up to video, first introducing video in June 2013, then in 2016 increasing the max video duration to 60 seconds from 15 seconds. Along the way, it has also made the use of video available to advertisers.

Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, has been broadly embracing video, including native video and live streaming within the social flagship network, as well as investing heavily in virtual reality.

The change is a relatively small tweak but does introduce the idea that brands and media companies could find more opportunity on Instagram.

It’s not a huge change for the “Explore,” section, Instagram noted.

“Even with these changes, Explore still works the same way: It connects you to posts about your interests from people you don’t yet follow,” the company wrote in the blog post.

The new video features are being introduced in the U.S. and will later be expanded to other countries.

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