Engineers at Meta are reducing Instagram’s video computing time without updating any hardware. Because there are so many resources available, it has allowed engineers to create more encryption codes, allowing more people to watch smooth playback of clear video content. The multiple encoded versions of uploaded videos that have different characteristics can be repurposed. The computer resources will be reduced by repurposing one type of video encoding. Through these resources, developers have the opportunity to produce additional and advanced encodings that can allow people to watch videos in high definition.
Based on a report from Interesting Engineering, Instagram was spending 80% of its resources as they processed minimum functionality encodings with two types of video encoding: (1) minimum functionality encodings that are much lower-efficiency compression and already decoded by old devices, and (2) advanced encodings that provide great clarity and a more detailed picture as they use much newer compression devices for clear playback.
The problem with this method of encoding was that Instagram was spending 80% of its resources on processing encodings with minimum functionality. That course would have monopolized the system with minimum functionality encodings within a year. The advanced encodings took up only 15% of the total watch time. It was found that if the budget was focused on minimum functionality encoding, this would soon prevent them from offering advanced video encoding watch times at all.
By doing the advanced encodings, the total watch time only took up 15%, and it was later found out that this could prevent the developers from offering advanced video encoding all the time if the viewers were more into minimum functionality. The engineers also noticed that there were redundant workloads that were similar for the two encodings. These are the basic adaptive bit rate and the progressive encoding.
With 2 billion monthly active users on their platform, Meta stated that this update is just the beginning. They added, “There is still more engineering innovation needed, as Instagram’s growing user base will continue to place increasing demand on our fleet of servers.” Stay tuned.”