What the Heck is an Instagram Video Share?

As posted on Advertising Week 

I came across an article recently that discussed the top shared brands on Instagram Video. Brands to earn this high acclaim include MTV, NBA, Peanuts and GoPro, to name a few.

My thoughts – great – but what the heck is an Instagram Video share?

As of this moment in time, users cannot seamlessly share videos from Instagram to any other social network. By that I mean, from mobile, which is where pretty much all Instagram videos views take place, you cannot click, tap or do anything to get that video from point A to point anywhere. So, I ask again – what the heck is an Instagram Video share? I have no choice but to assume it’s a copy and paste of a URL from Instagram WEB (not through the app, that’s not possible) to another social network which may include Twitter, Facebook, etc. Seems like a superfluous number of steps to take right? You must really want to share that video.. or rely on the brands themselves to do it so that you can share that aforementioned super sick video to your own networks. Then though, isn’t that <quote> Instagram Video </ end quote> simply a piece of content that is ironically optimized for a different social network than the one you’re sharing it to? It is. Trust me.

I then got to thinking about sharing in general and, when it comes to mass exposure of trending topics, my brain naturally took a stroll down hashtag lane. In case you still don’t get them, let me break it down for you. Hashtags are a super cool (#nerdmoment) way to consolidate a potentially world wide conversation by pairing a coined term or phrase with a symbol you used back in middle school to lock up your name with your jersey number. Mind you, this millennial trend has evolved, as all things do, to have a totally different role in social vernacular …but that’s for another post.

My point in bringing this all up is that in our forward thinking day and age, we have managed to not only miss, but whiff the mark when it comes to social integration and our perspective on it. We do not have an even-close-to-seamless way to look at the bigger picture when it comes to trending topic reach and content across the World Wide Web as it stands. Hashtags exist and are used universally on Twitter, Instagram and most recently Facebook but yet, there is no way to consolidate the analytics derived from those into one place. Not being able to share or #regram naturally from the Instagram mobile interface (be it video or image) may be intentional – and if it is I respect it – but calling out shared video links from Instagram web on other social networks just plain doesn’t make sense.

It seems to me that the social measurement space is suffering from a forest through the trees-esque syndrome. They’re looking forward through blinders as they frantically race to keep up with the tech centric joneses. The bottom line is that we don’t really know what we’re looking at or what any of it means.

So the question remains: What do we do about it?

My call to adventure is to look up and find a way to call a spade a social spade. Find a way, Internet world, to create a social map – a hashtag web if you will. That way we can at least have some idea of how far and by what vehicle our content travels. Then we can adjust our strategy accordingly. If not though, maybe we just accept the fact that quality content trumps. We should take advantage of the ready made tools in our tool belt, know that content is content first – and the way you alter it for different marketing channels, be they social or otherwise, is your intelligent attempt at catering content based on the audience you’re speaking to.

To bring this puppy back full circle, it makes zero sense focus on empty Instagram video shares. You are, quite literally, sharing content optimized for Instagram, which has a language and a user base entirely its own, to other, completely unique networks. It’s pretty much like going to a different country and assuming they’ll speak your language. That’s naive and lazy; come on son, you’re better than that. You should be focusing instead on the killer content you create and how to best disseminate that to the masses based on the mechanism through which you’re pushing it. Be better. Strategize harder. Market on.