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Reducing Instagram’s Basic Video Compute Time By 94 Percent

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Our fleet of servers must operate at peak efficiency due to #Instagram’s expanding user base of more than 2 billion monthly active users. We conducted calculations in early 2021 and found that we will run out of capacity to provide video uploads for everyone within a year. However, in our never-ending effort to put efficiency first, we found a solution to accommodate this rising demand and extend our infrastructure by getting more out of the existing computers.

Instagram encodes uploaded videos in numerous ways, each with a unique set of features. We lowered the CPU resources we spend on less-watched video encodings by 94 percent by using one type of video encoding to help generate another type. With greater resources at our disposal, we can create more sophisticated encodings, enabling more viewers to enjoy the sharper video with more seamless playback.

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