Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has been quietly picking up traction thanks to its attractive scroll of infinite new content – not to mention the rapidly improving photo quality on iPhones. From carefully staged selfies to artistically arranged flat lays, the platform has quickly established itself as the top social platform for engagement.
Despite its steady growth in popularity, Instagram does recognise that there is a need to regularly change certain features of the channel in order to keep their users interested and active. Over the past few years we have seen the introductions of new filters, gallery posts, Instagram stories and even the live broadcasting tool. The latest IGTV feature is arguably the most radical step for the platform, placing it in direct competition with YouTube.
Users, with the exception of smaller and new accounts, will now have the option to upload vertical videos up to an hour in length through the app or the web. Viewers will now have the opportunity to swipe through a variety of longer-form videos, or alternatively swipe up to visit a tab of personally recommended and popular video content. The IGTV app is available globally on iOS and Android, as well as in the Instagram app through a dedicated TV shaped button located above Stories.
TV through mobile
Through the introduction of IGTV, Instagram is providing the tools for businesses to bolster their narrative through video content, subsequently reeling in new followers and creating more of a sense of relationship with them. The platform recently surpassed the one billion users milestone, proving that having a presence on the platform is now as essential for brands as it is consumers.
IGTV offers brands the chance to break into a new dimension of marketing by producing high-quality branded video with a built-in audience that they’ve been fostering for years, without having to build up a brand new database from scratch. Instagram has created a unique opportunity for itself to become the TV of mobile. Whilst YouTube could continue to hold a much wider breadth of content, the careful curation of creators and publishers’ video content on Instagram could position the platform as the reliable place to watch something ground-breaking on the small screen.
Needless to say, the launch of IGTV is immensely exciting. The opportunities for both content creators and brands are limitless, and Instagram’s demonstrably evolving nature leads us to place our faith in its longevity.