Recently, Instagram dropped a bombshell on those in the social media and entertainment industries: a new long-form video sharing platform for their users called “IGTV,” As opposed to their Instagram stories, which are short 15 second clips, IGTV videos can be as long as an hour.
Now, this might not seem like big news— just another tech update. However, for any company that has a social media presence, this can be a major game changer.
Instagram already enjoys a massive user base, with roughly 1 billion active users as of this writing. The New York Times reports that the average American will watch 24 minutes of video a day on a smartphone in 2018. Instagram estimates that by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic, and hopes to capitalize on this trend with IGTV.
With this release, Instagram is expanding its reach beyond mere photo sharing. This shift began with the introduction of Instagram stories in 2016, and now the social media giant continues to expand its media market share… Who knows what’s next?
That’s the exciting part: the unknown. As a mobile app development agency, and a purveyor of all things digital, we’ve been keeping a close watch on this developing story. Here’s what this update could mean for content creators:
IGTV’s new long-form video sharing feature has been created for all Instagram users—not just celebrities or major influencers. Anyone can create and share content (if they can figure out how to use it, that is.)
Following the style of Instagram stories, these longer videos need to be full-screen and vertically oriented. That way, these videos can fit any mobile device, with no awkward white space or strange formatting.
These videos are going to be integrated into the normal Instagram app. However, if a user wants a viewing experience that is not hindered by photos or Instagram stories, they can download a standalone IGTV app, for iOS or Android.
For users’ convenience, IGTV has these videos placed into three categories: ‘for you’, ‘following’, and ‘popular.’ Users are also able to search for their favorite content creators or friends in IGTV. If users take a liking to a content creator, they can comment, share a link, DM, and engage with the profile. A viewer can even take their commitment to the next level and subscribe to the content producer.
IGTV creates a new way for users to stay connected with their favorite channels. This platform is a savvy business decision for Instagram. IGTV allows the company to expand into the long-form sector of content creation.
If IGTV has the potential to be more engaging for the users of Instagram, then what does it mean for the content creators of the app? Have no fear, Codal’s interpretation of IGTV is here.
For those who are famous content creators, this update will not be much of a shift. Social media influencers, ‘vloggers,’ moguls, all got their start online. With this origin, most of these influential individuals already have an Instagram profile, or following base. Instagram centered this update around creators, announcing their IGTV update in San Diego with many popular creators.
However, for those of us who are business owners and are not social media influencers (aka. the general populous), what does this mean for our businesses? Well, for one, this can alter a business’ content marketing strategy. If a business wants to stay cutting-edge and adapt to using IGTV, it can result in more content creation.
With IGTV, the videos have to be vertically oriented and suited for a phone screen. Videos that were posted on YouTube would not be compatible with this forum. Aside from this new formatting, what will these videos contain for businesses?
This is still uncharted waters for many businesses. A few businesses have taken the leap into using IGTV, like Chipotle, Netflix, and Gucci. With so little content posted, it seems like businesses can go in any direction to engage with their customer base.
Businesses have the potential to use IGTV to give behind the scenes footage for their followers (if they are at a conference, setting up for a big event, etc.), if they want to give company updates, answering FAQ’s from their customers or even live-streaming an event. However, at the moment, businesses are unable to pay for advertisements. Although ads may be integrated in the future, they are currently absent from IGTV.
IGTV has the potential to be another way that your business connects with your audience. Although it may cause a change in your content strategy, it can be a way to draw in a larger following, leads, or potential customers for an eCommerce business.
Now, this is one huge question mark. With the launching of IGTV, many hypothesized that Instagram was attempting to go after major platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, or even Netflix. What is the fate of these companies now that the new kid on the block is going after them?
Another fold to consider is that Instagram is owned by Facebook. Thus, we can also shout another open-ended question into the oblivion, “Will we see Facebook integrate similar long-form videos into their platform?”
If Facebook integrates long-form videos, that can be another change to your content strategy and how you market your business. How will you use IGTV to connect with your audience? With this new feature, it can be a great way that your business shows that it is cutting-edge and current.
Yet, there is still too many questions and not enough answers regarding IGTV. However, one thing’s for certain in all of this speculation, as an app development agency we will keep the pulse on this developing trend. How will we integrate this update into our own social media? You will have to wait and see!
If your company needs help keeping up with the latest and greatest tech industry trends, feel free to reach out and get in contact with us!