Photo and video sharing app Instagram Tuesday announced a major change in how videos can be presented. They can now be as long as 60 seconds, up from the former 15 second limit.
Instagram made the switch in a week that followed a large online backlash to a new way of presenting photos. The new algorithm showcases posts Instagram thinks you want to see, instead of whatever the latest photo is.
Instagram announced this last week, and many users thought the changes would start this week, which Instagram corrected online. The changes are being tested with a small group of users, and won’t be rolled out for weeks, if not months out, Instagram spokesman Gabe Madway said.
A Change.org petition to stop the changes has attracted over 300,000 signatures. Celebrities like John Mayer and Kendall Jenner chimed in, saying to leave everything like it is now.
“We’re listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now,” Instagram said in a tweet. “We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.”
Sue Bryce, a Los Angeles photographer with 75,000 followers on Instagram, spoke out against the changes.
“I didn’t like it when Facebook did it either,” she says. “I love linear timelines. I follow people I like and I like 95% of my feed daily because I’m a huge advocate for engagement –that’s what social is. What is the point of following someone and never liking anything or commenting. They will never know you are there.”
Meanwhile, the new video usage rules began rolling out Tuesday, and Instagram says they will be available to the entire network of 400 million monthly users “in the coming months.”
Instagram says time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent in the last 6 months.