What you need to know about IGTV

What is it?

IGTV is the newest feature from Instagram which allows for full vertical videos that can be up to one hour long. The vertical orientation leaves no wasted space, as it is created exactly for how you hold your phone. Your “channels” are those you follow on Instagram, but you also have the ability to search through suggested or popular videos. The structure compares to a combination of Snapchat Discover and Youtube — both of which people are already estimating may fall to the popularity of Instagram, which now boasts an impressive total of one billion monthly users. You can access the feature within the Instagram app or in a stand-alone app.

What this means for brands on YouTube

The IGTV launch event reported that 40% of teens are watching less TV than they were five years ago. Instagram video views are up 60% from just last year. Basically, people are watching videos on their phone more than ever, and IGTV has the first full-video platform that is vertical. This may mean something for brands using YouTube, which is fitted for a traditional television and forces you to rotate your phone horizontally or watch it on a smaller, cropped format. Even though YouTube is the second most popular search engine out there, IG CEO Kevin Stystrom claims you will search through less clutter for the video you want on IGTV as opposed to YouTube.

Andres Giraldo from The Skyline Agency

agrees – with the high number of monthly users on Instagram, why wouldn’t an influencer who boasts, for example, around 35k Instagram followers and only 4k subscribers on YouTube start posting their longer videos on IGTV rather than YouTube?

How should your brand use it?

Unlike both YouTube and Snapchat Discover, IGTV is currently ad-free. However, this will likely change as Instagram is already considering mid-roll ads and plan on splitting the profits between themselves and their “creators.” These creators can also use IGTV to promote your brand through influencer marketing for a less restricted period of time. You are no longer forced to put the link to your extended video in your bio or ask your followers to swipe up to see more, meaning there are less steps that could lose a viewer’s interest.

Some things to consider…

The longer videos will help your product, service, or event to be more thoroughly shown and explained. However, at least for now, it’s recommended videos should be kept short and sweet while the effect of IGTV on the rest of social media and Instagram develops. These videos should also not stray too far from the branding aesthetic of the rest of your Instagram, as users are likely to move back and forth between your IGTV and Instagram page. This could also be an issue as viewers could be distracted by other Instagram features. To avoid this, brands who want to use IGTV should encourage the download of the stand-alone IGTV app.

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