An Instagram update has brought infinitely looping video to its platform, following in the footsteps of competitor Vine.
The new feature, introduced in a software update, also removes the ability to pause video, instead letting users tap videos to turn sound on and off. Unlike Vine, the sound defaults to off on any video posted, and the company is eager to highlight that the looping will not affect data usage.
Looping videos may be popular with advertisers, who can now bank on a significantly higher number of plays for any given video. On the other hand, if those plays don’t translate into higher engagement, but do translate into a higher ad spend, Instagram may have found a way to earn more money from the same clients.
Auto-playing video is now the norm for most social networks, with only Twitter still asking users to explicitly decide to play a video. But there’s still a great deal of variation in whether videos loop when completed, whether sound is automatically on or off, and whether any of the options can be changed in settings – something most valuable to users with small data limits, who may want to turn off autoplay on Facebook in order to preserve their precious bandwidth.
This article was written by Alex Hern, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 4th February 2015 11.58 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010