IGTV is here and it's hot hot hot. Here's what you need to know about it.
The Vertical video format has confirmed our habit migration from desktop to mobile, virtually changing the way we consume motion content. We were trained by Snapchat and became pros at it with Instagram Stories. Unless you're watching something on television or YouTube, horizontal video is somewhat, well, offensive.
And because it wasn't enough for mothership Facebook to crush Snap with its own invention, the social behemoth is now going after veteran video platform YouTube. And as if that wasn't enough, it's also aiming at traditional television because why not. Instagram is no longer the place where users share photos with like-minded communities, it's the place where users can literally do everything.
Insta HQ is aggregating each social channel's primary functionality under its own banner in a clear attempt at getting people to spend as much time on the platform as possible. But also to become the social media be all and end-all. From a creator perspective, why keep putting so much effort in continuing to build audiences on other networks when Instagram often houses their highest follower count?
This is great news for brands investing more marketing resources into IG because it's reasserting that the feeling is mutual. It's providing more tools for creators and businesses to bolster their narrative through video, subsequently reeling in new followers and creating deeper bonds with them.
For those who want to focus solely on video beyond Stories, there's also the standalone IGTV app. But for brands that are looking to consolidate their storytelling and their brand journey into a one-stop-shop, IGTV is prime and center in Instagram's home feed.
Instagram's growth hasn't slowed down one bit, and it's constantly making efforts to update functionality to the benefit of influential users and businesses. Kevin even casually dropped the B-word bomb in the IGTV announcement post: "(...) the entire community of one billion can use it." NBD.
But even if Kev was all nonchalant about it, surpassing the one billion mark is an insanely huge deal. It means more people are turning to Instagram every day to get their content fix, whether it's from people they know personally, influential social stars, or brands.
Catering to what people want is actually what has hoisted Instagram into the social lead— first offering additional image formats, then integrating video, adding Stories, implementing business profiles and shopping functionality, modifying the algorithm to favor chronology, and now delivering on the thirst for video content with IGTV. Insta knows that bearing its heavy users in mind when developing new tools is a fail-proof strategy to keep all Instagrammers happy.
IGTV is a clear, deliberate investment in the vertical video format, and speaks volumes about its potential to take over the world. Mobile is how most people consume motion content, vertical being the ergonomic, intuitive way to view via smartphone—a neat little gadget owned by over 2.5 billion people worldwide. The launch of IGTV could be the push brands were looking for to get into video.
We've heard firsthand from a lot of businesses that starting a YouTube channel was a goal, but the thought of having to build a new community from scratch on a separate platform felt like a steep uphill climb. This new functionality release basically offers the dream on a silver platter: the opportunity to produce high-quality branded video with a built-in audience that you've been fostering for years.
Whereas brands have struggled in the past with Instagram Stories being too raw and their creative department's natural inclination to over-produce clips that are meant to be rough around the edge, IGTV swoops in as the more polished sibling. Companies can now have the best of both worlds by proceeding with off-the-cuff content for Stories and creating more long-form curated vids for IGTV.
Think of the cross-functionality opportunities and the kind of branded creative assets that can be crafted to connect with users. It's a new avenue for reaching global audiences and increasing your consumer pool by sharing your brand journey via a broadened set of touchpoints. Not to mention all the influencer marketing opportunities as well. Kevin's team has made sure that there are as few limits as possible: "Unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long." That's like, an actual tv show.
We discovered a little while back that video content was actually the secret to unlocking record engagement rates, and with the way things are going now, motion content is set to reach 78% of of total mobile data traffic by 2021. All social roads are currently leading to video format, and if Instagram says it, we should all take it very seriously:
We believe this is the future of video. People continue to spend more time with entertainment on their mobile devices, and we're making it easier for them to get closer to the creators and original content they love.
This is every brand's opportunity to seize and to lose. The current social marketing landscape is unforgiving and ultra fast-paced and doesn't let brands rest for one second. Businesses need to constantly be looking to the future and finding new strategies to keep those deep consumer connections thriving. Providing them with fresh and innovative content is a fail-proof tactic.
Needless to say, the launch of IGTV is incredibly exciting. The opportunity for both content creators and brands is boundless, and Instagram's proven evolving nature leads us to put a lot of faith in its longevity. Businesses should feel confident investing in the channel, even if there isn’t any IGTV data available to API Partners—yet.
But in true Dash Hudson form, and just like we did with Insta Stories, you'll be the first to know when there is useful data available. We can't wait to see how brands weave the new tool into their content strategies moving forward. We'll be watching closely.