Should You IGTV? The Short On Instagram TV

Reaching 1 billion users is quite an achievement. And to celebrate, Instagram launched their own mobile only video-based app, Instagram TV, or IGTV if you are down with the lingo.

What is it?

IGTV was developed with a mobile-first audience in mind, purposely designed for how humans actually use their phone – full screen and vertical. And, unlike Instagram itself, each video can be up to an hour long rather than the short, disappearing videos we see in Instagram stories.

Accessible through the Instagram or through the standalone app, IGTV makes promoting and consuming user generated content fast and easy. As a millennial said in our office, ‘it is quite addictive. I was stuck on it for an hour last night!’

Upon opening the app, IGTV starts playing videos right away – just like when you turn on the TV. No need to search to start watching content from the people and brands you already follow on Instagram. IGTV will recommend content based on your interests and you can discover more by switching between ‘For You,” “Following,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching.” And like regular old TV, you can surf channels as well! But in this case, the creators are the channels and anyone can become a creator.

The highlight reel

  • Videos are full screen and vertical
  • Video length is 15 seconds to 60 minutes (The full 60 minutes is currently only available to larger accounts or verified accounts. Everyone else has a limit of 10 minutes.)
  • Users can watch inside the Instagram app or on the IGTV app
  • Videos play automatically for users when opening the IGTV app
  • Creators can add call-to-actions on videos
  • Engagement: users can like or comment on videos, or send videos to friends in Direct
  • Creators have their own channels, like YouTube (and anyone can be a creator)
  • Videos can be uploaded to the IGTV app or the web
  • Videos on IGTV can also be uploaded to Facebook Watch

Our two cents.

There is absolutely no doubt that the way we consume media has changed. Over 50% of time spent is now on mobile, and YouTube reports reaching more than 62% of all Kiwis through their platform. And with over 1 billion users, Instagram confidently states that by 2020, 50% of all video viewing will be done on a mobile screen.

While we predict the future of video and content going almost completely mobile, it doesn’t mean the switch will happen overnight. IGTV’s standalone app saw great promise in it’s first week of launch, peaking at the #25 spot in overall US iPhone apps and has seen 2.5 million downloads according to Sensor Tower. However, since the launch, it has since seen a steady drop in weekly installs.

IGTV requires more effort from creators. They need to not only produce longer-form videos but also keep their viewers and followers entertained for more than 15 seconds – easy for some, hard for others.

On the other hand, IGTV sets the stage for all levels of creators to generate video content. Because the platform’s design for vertical content, it encourages videos that are not heavily edited but rather taken on a more “raw” look and feel, which tends to make content more relatable for viewers.

There are a number of ways you can take advantage of IGTV for your business. Consider becoming an IGTV creator for vlogging, a product launch and demo, or an original ad campaign.

Although new to the game, IGTV has the potential to become a powerful social channel.

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