We’re excited to now let Instagram users capture moments using video. This allows even more vivid, artistic, and creative stories to be told from around the world. With the launch, we’re committed to making the video media available to our developer community through a new API media type value: “video”.

Important Keys:

In order to let you concentrate on building great apps and services, we’ve tried to design the video media type similar to what we currently return for image. There are only two keys that have been overloaded and one new key to consider:

  • type
  • images
  • videos

1. type

You’re already familiar with this key which has statically returned “image” as its only value. Now, depending on the API endpoint, you may also see “video” as a second value. You should use this key to branch your code for video content.

2. images

When you detect the type value as “video”, you should be aware that the images key will behave differently than when type value was “image”. More specifically, the images key will refer to the video cover frame that was selected by the content author. Similar to the formats returned for “image” media types, there will be “low_resolution”, “thumbnail”, and “standard_resolution” cover frame formats. A cover frame is required for all videos uploaded through the Instagram app.

3. videos

As the name implies, this key will contain links to the actual video content. To help save you time, we are providing two formats: a 480x480 “low_resolution” format and a 640x640 “standard_resolution” format.  Similar to our policy with photos, you should not download and store the video content to your servers, but should instead source the content from the provided links.

The Video Container:

All video content currently uses the MPEG-4 container. You should simply check the link extension of “.mp4” as we may introduce other containers in the future. Video duration can be obtained by reading the ATOM headers of the MPEG-4 container.

That’s it! You now have all you need to quickly use the videos being produced by our beloved Instagram users. For more details, check out our API docs and example responses to see the full JSON output. We look forward to seeing your video contributions, the marriage with images, and the innovations that only you can do.

Piyush Mangalick, partner engineering