Instagram has just updated its official iOS app with a small yet nonetheless significant update.
Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for $1 billion, added support for sharing videos of up to 15 seconds in June 2013, in response to the rising popularity of the six-second video-sharing app Vine, which was launched by Twitter in January 2013.
Prior to its latest update, Instagram offered the ability to tap on videos to pause and resume playback. But now, it automatically plays and replays videos sans support for pausing, and tapping on them toggles sound, which, thankfully, is off by default.
Consequently, the option to set sound to play when the device’s ringer is on or to be always off has been removed. However, the option to preload videos at all times or only on Wi-Fi remains.
Instagram had previously removed the option to disable automatic video playback in October 2013.
At any rate, Instagram assures users that the newly implemented video looping has no effect on the app’s data consumption. Presumably, the app already uses a form of the video compression technology recently acquired by Facebook from QuickFire.
I and the users I follow on Instagram rarely post videos on the service, so I don’t expect my experience with the app to be substantially affected by the move toward video looping.
But if there’s one user group that’s likely to be delighted by the “Vine-inspired” change, it’s Instagram’s passel of advertisers, who can now rest assured that their video ads can be repeatedly seen by Instagram’s end users, who now number more than 300 million.
See also: Long-awaited redesign of Tweetbot for Mac teased by Tapbots, Steve Jobs documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker to premiere at SXSW 2015, and Fragment photo-editing app updated with new effects and custom shape support.