Instagram is making waves again, this time with Instagram TV or IGTV. Instagram announced a new way for visual content creators and storytellers to share content. Up to an hours worth of it.
Who Cares About IGTV?
Video content creators. Those who’ve built their audience and platform on Instagram now have a way to keep them on Instagram. If you are a video creator, you can always tease a minute of your longer, polished content or break it up in stories/the grid for your followers, but what lacked was the ability to place the entire video natively in Instagram. This meant updating the bio with a new link to YouTube or wherever the longer video lived, every time you made a video. Or, if you had enough followers, using the swipe option in stories to lead them to an external link. Still leaving the app.
Now your audience can natively watch your content, in the app. The need to leave your content, click out to your bio, click the link, open a new app, and then click play is gone. That process is annoying and users don’t like annoying.
What Does it All Mean?
It’s very early for IGTV, but I think this is going to be a game changer. I’ve written before about video and it’s dominance in our world, but how and where we consume it is what is ever evolving. Instagram has upwards of 600 million users and 59% of them are in the 18-29 demo. With IGTV, you can now watch branded (or unbranded as everyone can create a channel) content, in app, from the people and companies you engage with the most. This is huge For visual content creators. I predict it will change video and social media usage. Everyone from your local TV station to you favorite Instagram celebrity will have another, native way to reach.
Again, I’m talking about those who’s audience base comes from Instagram, not YouTubers or Facebook. If YouTube is your home base, this won’t matter to you today. If Facebook is how you reach your audience, you’re good. But, if Instagram has been your bread and butter, and you’ve had to maintain a secondary platform solely to showcase your full content, it’s time to rejoice!
One of the biggest hurdles for IGTV creators will be the vertical format. We discussed vertical vs. horizontal video a while back and it seems that vertical video is now firmly planted in the visual world. You should be sharing content on multiple platforms, make sure you frame accordingly if you want to dive into IGTV.