I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a while but have had difficulty valuing the benefit. Usually when people talk about writing a blog, the benefits I often hear are (1) to connect with others and (2) to build a following. Both of these points may have value but the payoff is uncertain and not completely in my control. When I tried to figure out if it was worth it, every argument I came up with was a huge stretch.

To warrant writing a blog, I needed to find other benefits which were in my control and likely to…

In June 2013 Instagram introduced video uploads. At the time the system was simple. To ingest video and make it available for playback, we had the Instagram app upload the entire video file to the server once the client had finished recording it. Then we would transcode the video to a controlled set of video versions of different qualities to make sure the video file was playable on as many devices as possible. Once all the video versions were available, we “published” the video and made it available for viewing.

A simple video upload pipeline

At Instagram, our community is sensitive to upload times. Users…

Ryan Peterman

Software Engineer @ Instagram, www.ryanlpeterman.dev

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