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Pictures vs. Videos: Which Works Better?

There’s an ongoing debate between social media influencers on the topic of picture vs. video content, and which one allows for higher levels of engagement and success for accounts. Ever since Instagram increased the duration allowed for videos, which was previously capped at 15 seconds, Instagram users have been taking advantage of the benefits it allows. But do videos really work better than pictures? In this post we will discuss some interesting statistics revolving around pictures and videos, and make a conclusion based on the evidence.

But first, why are videos so intriguing? 

Instagram has been around for seven years now, and for most of its existence, photos have been the driving force of content. Now, however, videos have been impacting the platform in various ways. It has allowed content creators that focus on visual production to apply their content to the platform, in which they weren’t allowed to do in the past. It has also provided social media influencers another option for content, allowing them to implement a mixed-content strategy to keep their audiences interested. In 2017, almost 74% of internet traffic comes from video content, mostly due to YouTube’s internet takeover. However, social media platforms, such as Instagram, have allowed for video content to make an even greater impact on the internet. Businesses are able to promote their products and services straight through their social media sites, YouTube influencers are now able to expand their market to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and video content creation is more encourages than ever before.

Which one retains more engagement?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as it all depends on the user behind the account. On Instagram, there are many influencers that rely on video content for the success of their page, while others are very successful using only images. Over 75% of social media users in 2017 say that they plan on implementing videos into their social media marketing campaigns, while 74% of influencers want to learn more about the process of implementing videos into their strategies. So there is still a very large portion of social media users that are uneducated in the use of videos.

Let us breakdown the use of videos on Instagram:

It’s New: While it’s not just being introduced to the platform, it’s still rather fresh for Instagram users. There are many users that have yet to venture into the realm of videos, as they are unsure of the impacts it will make for their accounts.

It’s Interesting: While pictures, in some cases, can be very appealing to the audience, videos give much more visual to the content at hand. Videos have become standard for social media, in which most influencers have completely directed their marketing strategies towards the involvement of videos. For example, Facebook timelines are filled with videos, as its effectiveness has been much greater for influencers.


Video Effectiveness on Instagram:

While Facebook and Twitter have seen large influxes of videos come to their platforms, Instagram has mostly remained heavy with picture content. Instagram was first successful due to its very simple, clutter-free, and fun concept. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Instagram doesn’t allow for the sharing of content. This basic concept completely differentiated Instagram from its competition. On your personal timeline, the only content you will see will come solely from the accounts you follow, along with Instagram’s ad placement. Sharing is what make videos attain their viralness, and unless you are searching through the explore page, you might not see these viral videos. This is why videos have yet to retain any more benefits through Instagram than pictures. Furthermore, Instagram has yet to add any monetization to videos posted to their platform. Even if your video gathers millions of views, you will not be compensated for it.

The Verdict

Unless your account relies on the inclusion of video content, then it is not a necessity for your page. If you are doing well with pictures, then continue with your strategy. Note, we are not discouraging the use of videos, rather, we are simply reviewing video effectiveness. Instagram, for now, is still picture-dominant. Sure, you can throw some videos in your content-mix to offer your audience something different, but do not feel the need to completely revolve your content strategy around the use of videos.





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