Everybody seems to be talking about IGTV, a new video service that is smartly integrated into everyone’s favorite social network. Only just recently has this strange TV icon appeared at the top of the Instagram app. It leads you over to vertical videos that are custom made by accounts that you follow. The question is, should you also start making vertical IGTV videos for your followers too?
What is IGTV?
Instagram TV is a new social media video app. IGTV was launched on the 20th of June 2018 and has so far been well received by both creators and users.
The app is unconventional in the way it delivers content. Traditional video and television have always present video horizontally. On IGTV, videos are vertical, similar to videos filmed in Instagram stories.
On IGTV, creators can upload videos that are between 15 seconds and 60 minutes long. This is the first time that users will be able to post hour long videos on the network.
How Does IGTV Work?
IGTV can be experienced through the Instagram app or via its own standalone app. If you are an Instagram user, then the standard app should be able to be just fine. If you don’t use Instagram that much, but want to experience vertical video, then you can install the IGTV app.
When you log into your current Instagram account, you will be able to access IGTV videos by tapping on the icon in the top right corner. Suggested videos will start playing automatically. You can simply swipe from right to left to switch to the next video.
You can also swipe up for more options and previews of upcoming videos in the playlist. The videos that you will most likely see are videos from people you already follow on Instagram.
So no need to begin searching for content creators to follow (like how you would when you are on a new social platform). Instagram has done a good job to curate and recommends videos to you based on the people you follow. It’s actually brilliant that they did roll over your preferences into IGTV. This is a huge time saver and is very convenient.
How Does IGTV Affect Instagram?
In the early days of Instagram, all users were able to do was post pictures and comments. The platform grew over time with more features like instant messaging, stories, live stream, and videos. Instagram became a platform in which people liked pictures, but loved videos.
IGTV serves as a way to deliver uninterrupted videos for users to binge on. Instagram’s move towards IGTV is a legit billion dollar idea that has very little risk attached. So far, almost everything that Instagram has adopted has worked out for them. IGTV is currently being launched within Instagram with an option to go solo in the future.
There really isn’t a reason to have a second app, especially if the original app has all the features. However, Instagram found that with a separate app, you will be able to offer an exclusive video experience that can rival other apps such as Vimeo and YouTube. Also, people who are not on the Instagram app will now need to register for IGTV, making the platform even larger.
Advertising On IGTV
IGTV has been dubbed as a competitor to YouTube. People are saying that the platform will be strong enough to compete with YouTube in the future. However, IGTV runs in a completely different vertical format. This leads to a totally different experience which will actually segment YouTube and IGTV users.
What experts could be trying to say is that IGTV may be able to compete with YouTube in regards to advertising. YouTube serves various kinds of ads within its platform, at the beginning or during videos. A portion of the ad revenue goes to the creators of the video.
At the moment, IGTV does not have any ad structure in place, nor is there any monetization available for creators. This hasn’t stopped influencers and creators from creating IGTV specific content. This helps as Instagram will most likely consider ads given the number of videos that are on the platform.
The exact monetization format isn’t clear as yet, but it is possible that IGTV could adopt a similar 10 to 15 sec ad spot before video playback (similar to YouTube). IGTV could also play adverts only in between videos, kind of like ad posts in your timeline.
IGTV can also be a great way for the platform to initiate direct influencer ad campaigns. Social media and celebrity influencers have large followings on Instagram. IGTV can be a way to bring advertisers and influencers together?
IGTV and Your Brand
So far, many YouTube and celebrity influencers have been making good use of the IGTV platform. Some have simply ported over and recycled their YouTube. While most creators are recording custom series of videos exclusive to IGTV.
If you are a brand that makes use of visual media such as YouTube and Instagram stories, then IGTV is a no-brainer. Especially if you are a small company that only records video casually. IGTV at the moment does not demand high production values.
The platform is very new and people are already finding very creative ways to record content tailored to IGTV. Even in its infancy, IGTV is very enjoyable and optimistic. The reason for all this is that a large portion of users today prefer amateur footage instead of professionally produced videos.
It is very uncanny how top influencers have taken to the platform. Their response to IGTV is way better than when periscope and other video platforms were initially launched. Part of the excitement is due to not having to rebuild an audience as IGTV caters to your Instagram followers. That being said, it almost feels as if they have been tipped off. The tip-off is that IGTV is the next big thing. If you have a brand, then it is time to get in early and establish yourself quickly.