On June 20th, Instagram confirmed its long-rumored expansion, into long-form video was coming to life. If you haven’t done an app update yet, you may want to consider doing it now so you can check out all the features and content already available. To find IGTV, you will click on the app’s Explore tab and content will appear there, as it becomes available, from people you follow.
This foray into long-form video seems to an apparent expansion into the territory currently occupied by YouTube and Snapchat Discovery. Instagram Founder Kevin Systrom said that though comparisons would be made with YouTube, that the IGTV videos would be “more engaging and perhaps more emotional.”
“It’s mobile first. It’s simple, and it’s quality. That’s IGTV,” Systrom said. Mobile first means videos will be shot in a vertical format, not the more conventional landscape orientation. Video length can be anywhere from 15 seconds to one hour. While mobile is undoubtedly Instagram’s priority, this is the first time users will be able to upload a video on the desktop version of the app, as well; a dream for video editors and content creators who prefer edited videos.
So what does all of this mean for brands and how can they take advantage of this new opportunity? The best place to start will be with a social video strategy (if you don’t already have one, this is an essential step). You should establish what kind of videos will convey your message and analyze what types of videos perform well. For example, if you look at a platform like YouTube, some of the most successful forms of content are Q&A, Behind The Scenes and DIY videos. Do these formats have the adaptability to work for your brand? Another strategy could be to pair up with an influencer who already creates video content and allow them to help guide the process.
There are insights available for IGTV video. So far IGTV insights include: Views, Likes, Comments, and Average percentage watched. There’s even a chart to illustrate the points at which video viewership increases and drops; a valuable tool to help evaluate how your content is performing so you can adjust your strategy.
Another feature that brands should take advantage of is the “swipe up” ability. IGTV videos will include link-out options allowing creators to drive traffic to their websites and stories. Details on monetization are yet to be confirmed, but it is clear this feature is meant to attract businesses, content creators and influencers to create their channels.
This new platform opens up a whole host of opportunities for consumer engagement. Given that this announcement is coming on the heels of Instagram reaching one billion users, it’s safe to say this will have a significant impact on its vast network of businesses, brands, content creators and influencers.