Yesterday Instagram launched IGTV, a new app that will allow creators to share long-form videos. Staying true to Instagram’s mobile-first strategy, videos will be displayed in a vertical, full-screen format. But, unlike the traditional Instagram feed and Instagram Stories, IGTV videos can be up to one hour in length, giving creators and brands the opportunity to spend more time with their audience.
Leveraging One Billion Users
IGTV will allow content creators to start their own channels to which users can subscribe. While IGTV is a standalone app, Instagram’s full user base of one billion accounts can access IGTV from within the native app. Further, Instagram users will see a notification when accounts they follow post new videos to IGTV.
Instagram’s built-in audience will prove to be a powerful draw for creators and brands to become early adopters of IGTV. Just 24 hours after the announcement, several videos have already amassed over one million views and thousands of comments.
Ad-Free, But Ripe for Sponsorships
Instagram announced that IGTV will be ad-free for now, but plans to monetize the platform are forthcoming. In the meantime, we’re confident Instagram influencers will treat IGTV as a new opportunity to partner with brands to create sponsored content. While brands are used to working with YouTube influencers to create long-form video reviews and testimonials about their products, IGTV represents a new platform for partnerships. And, importantly, IGTV video descriptions will feature clickable links.
IGTV In, YouTube Out?
Will brands and influencers who currently straddle both YouTube and Instagram start to abandon YouTube? It’s difficult to say, but we wouldn’t advise that successful YouTube channels walk away from their audience - after all, YouTube remains one of the most search optimized platforms on the planet, a perk of being Google-owned.
On the other hand, we’re willing to bet those with strong Instagram followings and weaker YouTube followings will find they can achieve more video views and engagement by posting to IGTV, rather than trying to drive their audience to YouTube.
For that reason, IGTV represents an excellent opportunity for both brands and creators to start (or re-start) a long-form video content strategy. Longer videos can be highly useful for a range of goals, from giving your audience an in-depth look at your product to building authority through how-to and explainer videos. And while the traditional Instagram feed encourages users to quickly scroll and tap through an endless stream of content, IGTV is a place where you can attract and hold your audience’s attention for more than just a few seconds.
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