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Hyperlapse: Using Time Lapse Videos to Build your Instagram

Over the past year Instagram has made some serious inroads as a market-leader in social networking. Their significant re-brand back in April took a great deal of people by surprise and was met with widespread criticism, but since then it seems those naysayers have been all but silenced by developments that meet the needs of user and businesses alike…

While you might not necessarily have noticed it, Instagram’s user growth has been rather astounding over the past year – especially when looked at alongside Twitter’s, which has been nothing short of sluggish. Sure there were one or two fanfares when Instagram hit half a billion users in June, but what was touted as a positive by the network – that over 80 percent of the community were from outside the US – may have caused US based marketers to shy away from sharing in that milestone. Why? Simply because when they hit 400 million users that was only 75 percent.

Regardless it’s certainly something that users outside the states can cheer about – and besides, the stall in the US is most likely just down to Snapchat-crazed teens preferring the finite network over Instagram. Instagram is a speeding train that businesses serious of marketing themselves in a digital age need to get on board.

Instagram’s shift to (and for) user content

The driving force behind the full re-brand, and every update that has come since, has been user content. As a network they continually show that they have a solid grasp of what makes their network individual – the stories and moments shared by their users. It has always been inherently content-driven. Okay, so that may seem like a sweeping generality as every social network requires content, but I’m referring to a sense of what primarily ignites dialogues within each network – whereas that might be controversial comment on Twitter or trending content from organisations on Facebook, with IG it’s primarily user-generated content.

Aware of what makes their users tick and what drives engagement, they have been quick to expand capabilities in-line with that. Video is an ideal case and point. Until recently, users on Instagram have been limited to sharing 15 second videos on the network. In March this year that all changed as they begun to allow average users to upload 60 second videos, a capability that was originally reserved for advertisers.

Time lapse videos are just a joy to watch as they show off patterns that we might not otherwise see in everyday life, offering a unique and mesmerising perspective. Because of this they can certainly add a touch of diversity to the content on your Instagram feed. Hyperlapse from Instagram was first released last year as a standalone time lapse video app which majorly simplifies the process of creating time lapses with the use of a unique stabilisation algorithm. Instagram’s version is only available for iOS, but a similar app is offered by Microsoft for Android.

Using Hyperlapse as part of your Instagram content strategy

We encourage businesses to make use of different types of content to add a touch of variety to your social media marketing strategy. This gives you valuable insights into the sort of content that your audience in particular react well to. Hyperlapse should be up there with Boomerang and good-quality image creation apps.

Producers and companies that create things

Companies and organisations that create products could use Hyperlapse to create unique behind-the-scenes time lapses of their products being produced. Artists and sculptors readily make use of time lapse videos to offer a different perspective of how their art is created. This should be no different for any other business that makes things – from shop-floor to hand-made producers such as luthiers or potters. “Behind the scenes” content that gives users access to otherwise unseen parts of your business works really well to drive engagement as it makes users feel part of an exclusive group of advocates for your brand.


Making use of your local area

Local businesses should use Hyperlapse to create time lapse videos of their local area. This is a great way to encourage engagement by local consumers – the precise target audience that you want to get engaging with your social channels. On the other end of the spectrum, users who haven’t necessarily visited your area are likely to show a certain amount of interest; that aspect of discovery is what makes content-focused social networks thrive.


#hyperlapse the Neighborhood A video posted by NYC | New York City (@nyc) on

Events professionals, creatives and performers

Events professionals can use Hyperlapse to offer users an enticing look/sneak-peek at their event. For creatives and performers on Instagram, Hyperlapse can offer unique perspectives of rehearsals, collaboration or performances. In many cases it can also be used purposefully to create an individual dance or performance piece – check out the example below by @pedestrianwanderlust


Hyperlapse is a great tool for building your Instagram strategy that helps to enliven your content and offer users a different look at your brand. How do you use Hyperlapse? We’d love to hear. Tweet us – @GiraffeSM.

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