Mobile video is the content of the future. Even Instagram, which was originally created as a photo-sharing platform, gave in and introduced stories, live streams and, finally, an app for longer video content called IGTV. After the introduction of Stories which made Instagram the biggest Snapchat competitor, this has been the biggest piece of news from Instagram developers in the recent past. With the rise of video and mobile, it has been a matter of time until Instagram would introduce an alternative way to post and view video content. Moreover, posting longer videos on Instagram has been one of the most anticipated updates in the history of the app.
IGTV is an application and a TV platform, enabling Instagram creators and users to watch and upload videos up to 60 minutes long. Initially, IGTV was created to feature longer vertical videos. However, a couple of months ago Instagram introduced IGTV landscape videos, which were aimed at meeting the needs and requests of those creators and viewers who wanted to have a more natural option of watching mobile videos at their disposal. Basically, the main feature of IGTV is a convenient process of interaction with video content. According to Instagram estimates, by 2021 mobile video will account for around 78% of total mobile traffic, making it obvious that video-related changes and updates are inevitable and there will be more to come.
How Does IGTV Work?
Instagram TV did not get its name by accident. It actually works like a TV. The moment you open the app, the video starts playing and, therefore, there is no need to look for anything before pushing the play button.
Suggested IGTV video content is based on your interests, likes, etc. It works the same way Instagram does. Moreover, the apps are interconnected which means that if you have an Instagram app on your phone you do not have to download the standalone IGTV app. It is available for watching videos or creating your own IGTV channel inside the Instagram app. This way IGTV keeps the viewers updated, engaged and enables them to have easy access to the video content based on their Instagram subscriptions.
Unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV provides an option to rewind the video, and the process of switching between the videos sounds like clicking through TV channels. In addition, each new video is accompanied by a brief white noise.
How to Post on IGTV
To upload a video, you need to create a channel. The channel can be created with the help of the IGTV app or inside the Instagram app. If you choose the second option, you need to click on the IGTV icon, and then click on the settings icon.
There is also a possibility to upload videos with the help of the desktop version of Instagram. In order to this, you need to switch to the IGTV tab on your Instagram page. Then follow the instructions on the screen. FYI, editing and saving draft videos is currently possible only on a computer. In case you need a detailed step by step guide, you can find it here.
The IGTV app supports only MP4 video format. Moreover, the size of the video should fit in the standard length —15 seconds to 10 minutes. It is important to understand that IGTV video length differs and only some accounts can download 1-hour videos. Despite the introduction of landscape videos, Instagram still recommends downloading 4:5 and 9:16 vertical videos.
Finally, the privacy settings on the IGTV app work the same way they do on Instagram. If your page is open, then your video will be available to all Instagram users except the blocked ones. In case your account is closed, the video content you publish will only be available to confirmed users.
How Do Businesses Use IGTV?
IGTV is a perfect way for business accounts to update and diversify the content. Moreover, IGTV provides an opportunity to post videos from both Facebook and YouTube. Basically, using Instagram TV enables businesses to present content to a completely new audience segment. It is obvious that the introduction of IGTV makes it a potential number one YouTube competitor.
However, the target audience of both video-sharing platforms is still slightly different.
There have been many discussions on IGTV vs. YouTube, but the way the content is delivered on both platforms differs a lot. While it is a fact that IGTV is one of the competitors with great potential, the ads are only available on YouTube. IGTV ads have not been introduced yet. According to TechCrunch, Instagram introduced IGTV 13 years after the creation of YouTube, which means that only unique viewing experiences and maximum flexibility of the app might make IGTV the first choice. At this moment, despite the potential, it still lacks the right incentives.
IGTV provides endless opportunities for brands to use its format and versatility for creating deeper and more meaningful connections with the target audience. Using IGTV helps customers to find the content themselves, i.e. find out more about the brand and follow the updates in video format. Therefore, it increases the chances of successfully delivering the message of the brand to customers as well as becoming easily and quickly recognizable.
The era of mobile content is upon us and video content is the king now. While the Instagram app itself continues to grow and evolve, IGTV seems more like an additional growth trigger with huge potential to become not only a standalone Instagram-related app, but a standalone video-sharing platform. Undoubtedly, IGTV is another channel that should be actively used by brands and businesses for communication purposes. However, IGTV content cannot be monetized yet and YouTube has the strongest presence in terms of video. The crowded video market will make it clear if IGTV stands a chance, and we will know for sure at a later date.