On Instagram’s Fantasy and Why Video Doesn’t Fit

Jenna Wortham nails why adding 15-second videos to Instagram is garish:

Instagram isn’t about reality – it’s about a well-crafted fantasy, a highlights reel of your life that shows off versions of yourself that you want to remember and put on display in a glass case for other people to admire and browse through. It’s why most of the photographs uploaded to Instagram are beautiful and entertaining slices of life and not the tedious time in-between of those moments, when bills get paid, cranky children are put to bed, little spats with friends.

Instagram is a yearbook of our most memorable moments, not because they’re the moments worth remembering, but because they’re the moments worth projecting and sharing. And that’s part of the reason the service is the success that it is today, with 130 million users who have uploaded more than six billion photos to the service in less than three years.

Video, at least the amateurish footage I shot, is the antithesis of that fantasy. And as much as I think we’re getting more comfortable being ourselves online, there’s still a difference between the self you’re willing to share publicly and the self you’re willing to share when only a handful of people are watching.

This is also why Vine, a similar service from Twitter which records and posts six-second videos, has been successful. The time limit allows for that slice of life fantasy.

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