IGTV – All You Need to Know!
Over the last few years, Instagram – one of the UK’s most popular apps – has been evolving at a remarkably quick pace. In fact, since the app was bought by Facebook in April 2012, a huge variety of new features have become available to Instagram users. And here at PMYB, we’ve all been wondering what else the company has up its sleeve… Now, the answer to this question has been revealed. On 20th June, at a flashy event in San Fransisco, Instagram launched a brand new, much-anticipated service: IGTV
This feature is unlike anything Instagram has offered in the past. It’s essentially a TV network that – like YouTube – will allow brands and influencers to broadcast videos to social media users. But the intricacies of IGTV really make this Instagram feature stand out. As a result, it’s already becoming clear that this app will again change the face of social media – and most importantly, the influencer marketing industry.
Check out our overview of the new IGTV feature – and be sure to digest all the need-to-know facts. This is one social media platform feature you need to read about!
The Evolution of IGTV
Instagram was first released in October 2010. (That’s right – nearly 8 years ago. We can’t believe it either!) And since that initial release, the app has evolved significantly.
Initially, the developers launched Instagram as a photo sharing app. And of course, that remains its primary service today. But over the years, the developers have added a number of additional features to the app.
These features enhance the app’s potential tenfold. For instance, on the one hand, they make the app more enjoyable for everyday social media users, by offering a wider variety of content. But that’s not all. Certain features also create more opportunities for social media influencers and brands, who are looking to create professional social media content. And that’s something we at PMYB are particularly interested in…
Instagram Before IGTV
It all began back in June 2012, when Instagram launched its ‘Explore’ feature. This is an additional tab on the app. It promotes unseen content to the app’s users and has the potential to popularise influencers’ work.
In the eyes of influencers, this was a positive step forward for the app, as it helps to showcase content creators’ work. But Instagram really and truly stepped up their game with the launch of Instagram Stories. This enables users to post one-minute video clips on the app – and it’s particularly popular with influencers and celebrities, who use the feature to post regular clips of their daily lives.
This development was particularly significant for Instagram because it marked an attempt to rival another social media platform: Snapchat. This showed that Instagram was really aiming to continue their takeover of the social media industry – by offering everyday users, influencers and brands more ways to use their app.
Since Instagram launched the Stories feature in August 2016, Instagram has remained ahead in its field, by continuing to offer innovative and user-friendly features to its users. IGTV is just the latest development in this saga. It’s another indicator of Instagram’s impressive attempt to keep social media – and influencer marketing – fresh and effective.
So, let’s take a closer looking at the IGTV service – and what it can offer the industry…
As we’ve already outlined, IGTV is a video sharing feature closely connected to the ordinary Instagram app.
You can actually access IGTV through the existing Instagram app. If a brand posts a video to IGTV, you can access this content by clicking the IGTV button.
But IGTV is also an app in its own right, and so users can access the content the content that way, too. According to Instagram, the app will be ‘rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS’ – and for some users, it’s already available to download.
Whether you access the app via Instagram or through the app store, IGTV is undeniably a new space on social media, that offers distinctive new services.
As we’ve already mentioned, IGTV allows users to post videos on social media. But a few features distinguish IGTV’s video content from that of other social media platforms.
For instance, the original Instagram app already allows users to post videos online, via the aforementioned Instagram Stories feature. But whilst Instagram Stories videos are limited to being a minute long, IGTV content will now be much longer. In fact, these videos can be up to an hour long.
IGTV also differs from the original Instagram app, in that content is not displayed in a feed or on profiles. Instead, IGTV videos are organised into ‘channels’. These channels are then linked up to the user’s existing Instagram profile.
Together, these various features make IGTV a new online destination – somewhere social media users can go to watch longer video content. But this is where things get interesting. Because as we all know, when it comes to online video content platforms, there’s clear frontrunner: YouTube. So, just as Instagram sought to rival Snapchat with its Instagram Stories feature, Instagram is now competing with YouTube through IGTV.
But how does IGTV differ to YouTube? What does IGTV really bring to the table?
Instagram’s developers are confident that IGTV offers its users plenty, compared to other social media video platforms. In fact, they are calling it their ‘most exciting feature to date’.
Why? Because Instagram sees IGTV as the future of online video content. This is primarily because the developers designed the content to be viewed vertically. IGTV videos will only appear in portrait mode.
This was a conscious decision by Instagram – and a clever one too. Instagram says IGTV is ‘built for how you actually use your phone’. This refers to the idea that we all hold our phones vertically for day to day use – but typically have to turn them around to watch landscape videos, like YouTube vlogs or sports. IGTV will now change all of this.
Of course, this clearly distinguishes IGTV from YouTube. And this is fundamentally why the Instagram developers see IGTV as the future of online video content…
IGTV Video Content
It seems clear, then, that with IGTV, Instagram is looking to distinguish itself as a key social media platform for video content sharing. But that prompts a further question – why have Instagram chosen to take the company in this direction?
The truth is, Instagram has been growing more video-focused for some time now. The same goes for Facebook. Features like Instagram and Facebook Stories prove this – as does the fact that video ads on Facebook can earn influencers more than still photos.
Ultimately, Facebook and Instagram believe that video is the future of social media content. The companies know that video is already popular among their users – and they’re looking to the build on this, by offering more ways for users to engage with video content.
With IGTV, social media users can enjoy videos on social media more easily, and for longer, too. And as a number of top celebrities and social media influencers have already taken to posting on IGTV, it looks as if this platform is already taking off. The future of video content on social media is here!
IGTV Influencer Marketing Campaigns
We’re slowly unraveling the mysteries of IGTV. And now there’s only one question left. How will the feature change the face of social media?
Of course, a popular new social media platform and app will have an undeniable impact on social media. But here at PMYB, we’re particularly interested in implementing IGTV into the influencer marketing campaigns we conduct for our clients.
After all, IGTV will be of particular interest to most established social media influencers. Now, it’s important to remember that any social media user can upload video content to IGTV. And in fact, Instagram is keen to encourage ordinary members of the public to get involved with creating content for the platform. But nonetheless, it’s clear that the developers primarily designed the platform for accounts with big social media followings: influencers, celebrities, and brands.
Therefore, IGTV is essentially designed to function as another platform for influencers to create social media content – and that comes with pros and cons. In some ways, this may feel like a burden for influencers. It means another channel to manage; additional content to create. But equally, with more responsibility comes more opportunity. On this new social media platform, more doors will be open for social media stars – particularly in the form of influencer marketing campaigns.
Indeed, it is widely expected that IGTV will quickly become a key platform for our future influencer marketing campaigns. As yet, there are not many adverts on IGTV. But Instagram’s CEO has said IGTV will ‘obviously’ become a place to promote brands and products, through the work of social media influencers.
The Future of IGTV
It will certainly be interesting to see how the influencer marketing industry develops with IGTV – particularly as the platform displays exclusively video content. Video content always takes more time and effort. However, when brands get it right, the results are definitely unrivaled. So, we know that brands will be able to really flourish on IGTV.
We’ll also be interested to see how else IGTV will impact other areas of social media. For instance, how IGTV will affect the growth of Instagram’s existing Stories feature and YouTube. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, be sure to keep up to date with our blog for more of the latest social media news. You can also get in touch today if you would like to find out more about working with Chromo-Influencers® to produce your video endorsements on IGTV and beyond.