For content creators, the biggest news of the day is the announcement of Instagram’s latest development: the launch of IGTV, a video content stream within the app. IGTV is specifically tailored to be more mobile friendly than YouTube, providing content directly from major creators currently on Instagram.
The news was delivered via Instagram’s business page, with the company saying IGTV will bring audiences “closer to the creatives they love”. IGTV has been created around the insights that audiences are increasingly straying from traditional forms of video consumption, towards consumption of online video content via mobile devices. A direct quote from the business page says:
“We’re evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”
One of the most distinctive features of IGTV is the dimensions of the content (9:16), meaning videos will be made to fit phone screens rather than traditional desktop dimensions (used by YouTube). Snapchat Discover (the closest comparison for IGTV) currently provides videos in a mobile friendly format, however the service hasn’t received the popularity originally anticipated, with several shows being cancelled due to lack of viewer interest.
IGTV will allow content up to 60 minutes long, a major development from the current 60 second video limit on the Instagram app. The app also starts playing content from the moment you open the app, and boasts it’s simplicity with regards to browsing and finding content.
There is currently no ad service within the IGTV app yet, although the brand has indicated that this will be a likely development as the app gains momentum. In the meantime, brands can have a presence on the app simply through content creation. As users become more resistant to traditional advertising, they are increasingly expecting engaging, relevant content from the brands they follow; IGTV being the newest platform for brands to experiment with long form content.