Passions: Photos or videos?
Instagram’s move to becoming a video-first app led to an online protest. An author and a digital creator present two sides
“Insta’s morphed into a performance platform”
By Shunali Khullar Shroff
The platform is no longer about picture aesthetic or capturing a moment. Now it’s about rushing through cleverly edited photographs and people trying to grab your attention with a song and a dance. From a photo sharing platform, it’s morphed into an entertainment platform where everybody is being performative.
Given that the logo of Instagram is a polaroid camera, it’s ironic that it’s become TikTok lite.
What’s worse is that now, apart from being a good doctor, or a good architect or a good designer, you also need to be a good VJ of sorts to be able to get business via your followers.
Those who liked to simply click and share photos have had to become content creators to stay relevant, and I’m sure it is a lot of hard work to shoot, edit and upload Reels through the day. If time is money, I’m not sure what the returns are on this kind of an investment in the long run.
This video version of the platform might serve the beauty and fashion industry and genuine performers well, but overall, I notice there’s been a dumbing down of content. I fear for the brain cells of those growing up on a staple diet of Instagram Reels. I miss the simplicity of the picture-oriented Instagram.
Shunali Khullar Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. Her last book was titled Love in the Time of Affluenza.
“Videos are the future of content consumption”
By Anisha Dixit
I support Instagram’s new video-centric approach because the future of content consumption is short form content in video format.
We live in a time when videos are people’s go-to. Specifically, short ones. So, YouTube doesn’t work. We have better technology than we did five years ago, and now even our calls are in video format.
YouTube took over because it had more video content and people from Facebook switched to it. Then, in 2019, TikTok took over, followed by Instagram Reels when TikTok got banned.
Videos definitely grab more eyeballs and give creators better visibility. People want to be entertained on Instagram today. If I post a good picture vs a good Reel, the engagement will be much more in the latter.
As a creator, I feel there is much more I can do in a video. With pictures, in most instances, I can only get creative in the caption. There’s no denying that online businesses are growing because of the Reels they post.
Of course, Instagram wants to make money eventually and hence is pushing Reels. The fact is that people today spend more time on Instagram browsing Reels. Brands are aware of this and ask creators for Reels.
Anisha Dixit is a content creator who gained popularity with her YouTube channel called Rickshawali.
From HT Brunch, August 27, 2022
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