Over the past couple of years, Instagram has really experimented with the ways in which users can publish and share content on its platform.
- A year after Instagram was founded in 2010, it added hashtags so users could find new users to follow.
- In July of 2013, it went from being an exclusive photo app to being a video-sharing app as well.
- A year later in August of 2014, Instagram became advertising-friendly for brands.
- In October 2015, Boomerang, a silent video comprised of the first five photos from a one second burst, became all the craze.
- In August 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories where users can publish short photos, videos, and boomerangs that exist on Instagram for up to 24 hours.
Most recently on June 8, 2018, Instagram introduced what is probably their biggest new feature to date: IGTV. IGTV is a new product for long-term video content. There is a standalone app for IGTV, but you can also watch IGTV content within Instagram app as well. It’s the TV icon to the left of the direct message icon on the homepage of Instagram.
What makes IGTV different than Instagram Stories is the videos aren’t limited to 15 seconds. Content creators can publish videos in length up to an hour long.
Like YouTube, IGTV has channels and the users are the content for the channels. Interestingly enough, you can upload IGTV content via the web into addition to the app, which has never been something Instagram has allowed before.
Right now, many news outlets and magazines have adopted IGTV. Among them that are using it are BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, Vice, The Economist, Vogue, Fact Magazine, NME, Esquire, and Exposed Magazine. They are all hoping IGTV will help them reach more people in the 18-29 age bracket.
When Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, broke the news last month he said “people are watching 60 percent more video than they did just last year.” He also addressed “teens may be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online.” For businesses with target audiences comprised of teenagers and young adults, IGTV is definitely a new tool they should start strategizing for.
There are no ads on IGTV right now, but Systrom did elude it would become a very “reasonable place” for advertisers to promote their products on eventually. Only time will tell when Instagram will roll out advertising for IGTV. We reckon if IGTV will be as big as Instagram is predicting, advertising will happen very soon. When Instagram announced IGTV, they also shared their platform has just reached 1 billion users.
What do you think about IGTV? Have you started watching content on it yet? Would you ever use it as a way to promote your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.