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Why Instagram video uploads are great for fashion


Instagram introduced an update today that enables its 130m users to import video from their media library. Such a move instantly points to an opportunity for significantly higher quality posts, as pre-recorded, refined and even archive footage becomes feasible.

What could be more appealing than that for the fashion industry? The previous option only allowed users to record in-app, as remains the case with Vine, meaning the end results were often quite raw and less on par with what luxury brands particularly wish to put out.

Of course that’s not been the case with all posts, as I’ve previously commented with regards to Vine. Numerous brands have used the platforms incredibly well since their respective launches in February 2013 (Vine) and June 2013 (Instagram) by teaming up with specific artists, demonstrating how clever, experimental and creative it’s possible to be in spite of restricted functionality. Some of the stop motion work on Vine is especially astounding.

Yet let’s not forget that the reason Instagram became so suited to the fashion industry in the first place – and rapidly saw brands growing enormous followings as a result – is through the quality that could instantly be achieved with still images. Being able to add a filter on top of any candid behind-the-scenes photograph is an immediate way to give it a more luxurious spin.

When video launched therefore, the inability to be able to do the same thing from the phone’s gallery, having to record directly instead, meant most of the conversation that quickly followed was around how to hack that fact. Several achieved it, from a trailer for the new Ashton Kutcher film, Jobs, based on Steve Jobs’ life, to a post from adidas by Stella McCartney to promote its surf line.

Having the ability to now do that officially, changes the game. Importantly it’s a win for marketers in terms of better controlling the assets that are released, ensuring they are more on-brand, which remains the chief concern for luxe design houses.

Logistically it also makes the whole process much simpler. The downside of that of course might be that we lose the real-time access to the shows such short form video brought if it first has to go through an edit and sign-off process. It’ll be interesting to see how this is handled.

It’ll also be interesting to see how Vine is impacted off the back. I would suggest it might still remain a hub for creativity (I hope), not to mention great for those with a particularly strong Twitter following, but either way expect a lot more content to flow through Instagram from now on in this capacity, especially as the fashion week season looms…

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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