The Death Of The Web Clip?

IMG_2511_John_John_Florence_Trip_South_Africa_©SPECKEROne of surfing’s most meticulous when it comes to video release, Mr. John Florence.

On Tuesday, Instagram announced that users will soon have the flexibility to post up to sixty second videos, as opposed to the fifteen seconds that’s currently allotted. The company announced this alongside the stat that in the last six months, the time people spent watching videos on their platform has increased by more than 40%. Sound like non-news? Or maybe something you’d read on some nerd website? Well, it’s going to affect the way we watch surfing.

Remember the good ‘ol days of popping in your favorite surf DVD, or VHS if you want to age yourself a bit, and fast forwarding to your favorite part or section? Wide eyed and foaming at the mouth, you’d watch that part on repeat until excitement levels would force you to go surf your local with the illusion that you’d figured out a forehand hack just like Andy’s. Ahh, the joys of a full-length flick.

The Jack McCoys and Taylor Steeles and Kai Nevilles pushed the boundaries of what to expect from a quality surf film. That is, until attention spans shrunk and precious time became a shriveling commodity. Oh, and this little thing called the Internet caught fire. All eyeballs shifted toward wild world of web and full-length took a major hit. Blame Dion. Blame impatient millennials. Blame the natural evolution of media consumption. Two to five minute web clips, fifteen-second teasers, “click the link in bio” – this has been most everyone’s bread and butter for the past few years.

And now here we are today, with crooked necks and sore thumbs, always fixed to our phones – where the entertainment is immediate, effortless, and soon enough, where the majority of our favorite surfers’ videos will live.

Remember this little gem from Jordy? It was first released as just a fifteen second viral treat on Insta before landing in a longer edit weeks later.

Sure, this shift may not be instantaneous, and longer form web clips may not go completely obsolete, but this new feature from Instagram will in fact make a lasting impact.

There are currently over 400 million monthly users on the platform, which is about tenfold the amount of traffic of all major surf media’s websites combined, so the jump in potential reach is staggering. Not to mention, the views are instantaneous, the level of engagement far higher, and well, you never know what the next biggest viral video may be. Could we be seeing new names come out the woodwork? New career paths sprouted from making one-minute hits? There’s no telling where the possibilities could take us when the rabbit hole of social media is at question, but we do know one thing…

Your sixty seconds starts now.