Facebook absorbed Instagram in 2012. A year later, Facebook decided to roll out Instagram video in a “move that seemed revolutionary at the time − and still may prove to be.”

For a while, advertisers were not looking to Instagram for video advertising. Why promote or post video on Instagram when you have Facebook, right? Here is a better question − why not serve ads on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously?

Every channel is different! Therefore, one video may perform extremely well on Facebook but not Instagram, and vice versa. It is better to test your creative on both channels and see which one performs better. This will help when planning future campaigns.

Many brands are taking advantage of Instagram’s video capabilities. (We will go into more detail on this below.) Many seem to have found the perfect formula! It’s very clear that many are seeing great success, as Instagram continues to grow year over year. In the last year alone, Instagram video has risen by 46 percent (May 2016 to May 2017).

Why is Instagram video growing?

Many publishers and advertisers have been turning to video advertising, in general, to bolster their bottom lines. According to Dentsu Aegis Network, digital video ad spend will jump up about 25 percent worldwide next year. With the increased focus and spend on digital video, this, in turn, increases video spend across the board (e.g., multiple video channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram).

“The trend of increased social video advertising is also reflected in sentiments expressed by those overseeing ad budgets. An April survey of marketers in the U.S. carried out by a cloud-based video creation company sees an increase spending on Instagram video ads over the coming year.” − Rahul Chadha, eMarketer

NewsWhip, a new social media analytics firm, released data showing that photos were still generating higher engagement levels than video among individuals on Instagram. However, engagement numbers for videos posted by top publisher accounts have increased 53 percent worldwide year over year. This surpasses the 46 percent growth rate seen with photos during that same exact period of time.

Many publications, specifically those in the sports industry (e.g., Bleacher Report), are taking advantage of the change in consumer habits. The Turner Broadcasting System-owned site seems to have the “winning formula” for driving engagement on Instagram. NewsWhip reports that Bleacher Report drove more than 74.5 million content interactions in May. This is 10 times higher than the second top publication.

These publications have been taking note of the video appeal to Instagram users. Some are pushing them out at a furious pace. For example, Sports Illustrated posted just eight videos in May 2016. This past May, it posted 325. That is quite the spike!

Not only that, but Facebook has done its part in encouraging advertisers/publishers to budget for Instagram video. In February 2016, it extended the maximum video length to 60 seconds to give advertisers more opportunities and room for creativity. Additionally, Facebook rolled out Instagram Stories (similar to Snapchat). Last thing to note − identical to Facebook, Instagram videos default to auto play within the news feed.