There has no doubt been some mixed reactions to the launch of IGTV, some may think “so there’s another platform on which you can watch videos. So what?” and then there are those who’ll want to jump onto it immediately.

For those who don’t know what it is, here’s the low down: IGTV is a new exciting feature/app that allows long-form, vertical video watching, and sharing. While there is a stand-alone IGTV app, users are also able to watch from within the Instagram app itself. Essentially it’s going to be a rival of YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover tab.

And to the skeptics and enthusiasts alike, here’s what makes IGTV unique from competing platforms:

  • Unlike YouTube, IGTV videos are full-screen 9:16 vertical videos so users don’t need to tilt their phones to view the full screen.
  • You can only have one IGTV channel per Instagram account.
  • IGTV video length ranges from 15 seconds to up to an hour long and unlike Instagram Stories, they don’t disappear after 24 hours.
  • Much like anything in social, you need to entice users to watch your video, therefore adding a catchy title and description to your videos, as well as a cover image can go a long way. Cover images can be edited either by uploading a separate photo or selecting a frame from the video itself.
  • Like YouTube, creators have their own channels, and any type of account can be a creator.
  • Videos play automatically for users upon opening IGTV, so there is no significant difference between having the normal Instagram app and the IGTV app.
  • Creators can add “swipe up” call-to-action on the videos.
  • Users can like and comment on IGTV videos or send them directly to their friends.
  • Videos can be uploaded via Instagram, the IGTV app or the web.
  • Video stats are available so you can track how your videos are performing. A user needs to watch at least 3 seconds of your video for it to count as a “view”.
  • Since the launch of IGTV, there are no advertising options available but Instagram plans to make them accessible in the future.

From a marketing perspective, we are interested in seeing whether big brands will limit or downsize their spending on television commercials and move further into the digital space. As targeting and advertising become available for IGTV, it will provide an opportunity for businesses to identify the demographics of who sees their adverts, unlike TV where accurately pinpointing demographics is near impossible.Due to the increase in video consumption across all social media, it is evident that Instagram takes this seriously by continuing to position itself as a video channel while sticking to its roots as a visual platform. With over 1 billion users, it is the platform to be on and watch out for in the future. Are you keen to be the first to explore IGTV? Chat to us by sending an email to [email protected] or by calling us on 087 701 5501.

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