Instagram has just crossed the magic barrier of 1bln monthly active users (MAU) and is continuing to strengthen its position among the top social media platforms. Instagram’s initial strategy to be a ‘mobile first’ or event ‘mobile only’ platform has really paid off and it’s staying committed to this direction with the recent announcement of IGTV.
IGTV – what is it?
A new app that is set to become a hub for mobile (vertical) video – similar to what YouTube is for desktop and horizontal videos. IGTV is also extension of the Stories feature without the 1 minute limit. Videos (on some channels) can be up to 1 hour in length and it’s expected that this will be gradually extended.
When visiting IGTV for the first time, users will have access to content (unique or created for Instagram Stories) which has been created by their friends and channels that they follow straight away. IGTV is already full of content.
Brands like the news, but…
It didn’t take long for brands to react to the news – especially those, who heavily use Instagram in their marketing strategies and are well known for being social media marketing innovators. We have already seen IGTV content from Netflix, Harper’s Bazar, National Geographic and Louis Vuitton.
Currently most brands are just experimenting with the new format. Brands need to analyse if and how IGTV might become part of their larger marketing strategies and plan long videos in vertical format.
Brands using the IGTV app will also feel more comfortable when Instagram add options such as targeted ads, keyword search, linking, tagging, stickers and most importantly – reporting metrics, which will allow admins to see who has engaged with their content and how.
Digital content creators are benefitting
For digital content creators IGTV extends their options. They are already familiar with using vertical videos for Stories and Lives but now can create longer formats. This also allows those who were hesitant to create their own YouTube channel to experiment more with video.
IGTV also means that creators can offer more to their followers. Research shows that around 90% of consumers use their mobile devices vertically and with easier access to the the most advanced smartphones and almost unlimited access to internet 24/7, IGTV has the good chance of becomming the first-choice app to watch videos on ‘small screens’.
IGTV in influencer marketing
There are a couple of strong trends emerging in the shopping behaviours of today’s connected consumer. One of them being how consumers use smartphones and the other is how they communicate – images and sounds being the preferred option. There is also a strong trend to for people to seek recommendations from people who they know, like, admire or who inspire them.
As a result, influencer marketing as a channel is gaining more and more popularity. Instagram understands this and creates tools to support the rise of influencer marketing.
IGTV is one of them. The platform will allow influencers to deepen their collaboration with brands. Alongside classic posts and Stories, they can now offer much larger and longer productions.
What also matters here is that IGTV already has millions of viewers. Instagram is using its power and integrated services and move users between both platforms. This is a great opportunity for all sides.
But that’s not all. Instagram is also working on some other interesting features such as the shopping tags and direct payments feature. These solutions along with the power of influencer marketing, create a great platform for some unique, creative ad effective campaigns.
IGTV supports the evolution of internet TV
The rapid development of new technologies and an easier access to them than ever before has led to more and more quality content being produced by influencers who are becoming more skilled and professional. Also, in today’s connected world smartphones are with us almost 24 hours a day and with a fast, unlimited connection to the internet it means that we are watching videos more than ever through these devices (hence Facebook’s “Video First” strategy), for which the vertical format is much more friendly.
Instagram allows its content creators to use already-built communities and offer them new value. Influencers don’t have to redirect their fans anywhere, they can focus on creating fresh and engaging content.
All of Instagram’s functions complement each other and help to attract new users – to IGTV, but also to Instagram itself. The rise in time spent with its applications and the level of user involvement with all formats will, without a doubt, also grow.
Instagram has listened to the market and IGTV is a perfect response to the new trends in user behavior. The app creates a new space for creativity and truly engaging campaigns. How will the other social platforms react to this? Will they follow the same path?