Despite the Instagram community's immediate acceptance of the beloved photo-sharing app's new video offering, there is something of a backlash over the clips slowing down everyone's favorite time-wasting scroll. And the concern is legitimate — the updated version of the app includes video and pictures photos all in one stream, which for a lot of people on Twitter has made for long load times — but all those upset users have got it wrong: It's a different kind of slowness we're all dealing with now.
My Instagram feed as a whole is loading just fine, but the videos in there don't load too quickly. It takes a bunch of tapping around to make anything happen with clips on my home screen, even though I have the settings on the default auto-play. And some Insta-experts have suggested that maybe that auto-play functionality is part of the problem. To turn it off, just head to your profile (the icon on the bottom right of every screen), then click the little settings clicky-wheel at the top right, which will bring up the screen pictured at right, which is all the way at the bottom.
Beyond technical difficulties, though, the act of scrolling through and watching videos adds a new brand of slow-down to the process of checking your Instagram feed. It's one thing to mindlessly look at a bunch of pretty pictures; it's another thing to do that, and then pause for a 15-second video, then carrying on with your time-suck. Turning off auto-play might help with some of that — at least you won't automatically have to watch if you don't want to — but maybe this new video thing will just take some getting used to. Inevitably some of you won't want to adapt at all, and in that case, well, don't update the app — and maybe stick to Vine?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.