You probably already noticed it and maybe have already clicked on that new button in the top right of your Instagram screen: IGTV! To celebrate that Instagram has reached the impressive number of 1 billion users, they launched the new video platform for content creators that allows you to upload only vertical videos up to an hour. To stay on top of our social game, we ask ourselves in this article: is Instagram trying to copy YouTube secretly or is this new platform a real success?
Instagram, the unicorn
For a number of years, Instagram has remained the go-to social platform for millennials. But why? A number of new social apps have emerged over the years, which are more blistering to the current offer. Unfortunately, after a while, they failed dramatically (ahum, Vero). There seems to be no boxing against Instagram. Yet we hear here and there sounds about the annoying new algorithm, that as a result we no longer always see the posts of our own friends and the unwanted advertisements.
When Mark Zuckerberg took over Instagram, everyone kept their hearts on whether Instagram would change in Facebook 2.0. In some optics, this has unfortunately become truth. But because Instagram is a strong brand in itself and still remains faithful to the original idea and convenience of the app, the audience remains somewhat satisfied, actually for the simple reason that there is no better platform for sharing visual content. Instagram seems to be the unbeatable king.
In October 2017 Instagram introduced ‘Insta Stories’. Immediately it became clear that this was actually an ordinary copy of the popular Snapchat, but the audience quickly changed tack. Many users and influencers with a large following on Instagram saw that this reached a much larger audience than Snapstories. Moreover, it is of course much easier to store all content on one platform, both 24-hour Stories and permanent posts in the newsfeed.
Also on Instagram, the possibility to advertise very quickly appeared on Instagram, which did not exist on Snapchat. In the so-called ‘Twilight Zone’ we saw the big accounts and especially influencers placing their content on both social channels – both Instagram and Snapchat – but when Instagram added besides Stories also face filters, stickers, timestamps and even GIFs, it was clear that Instagram a more convenient platform than Snapchat and left the audience on the left. Convenience serves man, of course.
Video is forever
Back to IGTV. What is it and what can we do with it? Simply put, it is an app in an app where we can upload and watch videos for up to an hour. Why do we need this? Gradually we have to give in to the fact that the world of videos is turning a quarter of a turn: from horizontal to vertical. More and more content is created that can only be viewed vertically, even movie trailers. Research shows that by 2020 50% of all videos will be viewed on a mobile screen and Instagram itself says that by 2021 no less than 78% of all mobile data traffic will be mobile videos.
But, the question we have to ask ourselves: is the addition of IGTV too much for the simple Instagram app?
Personally, I find that the overview of Facebook, for example, shows too many impressions. We are thrown out with event invitations, private messages received (for which we have to download a separate app, Messenger), see ads from dozens of companies, receive notifications of who is today’s birthday, memories of what happened on Facebook X years ago and you can like a post, but also give a heart or an angry emoji.
In short, it is too much. Perhaps that is the reason a large part of the millennials find their salvation in the easy use of Instagram as their daily app: photos, DMs, and Stories. Much clearer and calmer in our world full of constant updates and incentives. My first thought is therefore logical: just leave it as it is and give us back the old algorithm, please. We do not need another new feature called IGTV.
The advantages of IGTV
Adaptation to your preferences
Why does Instagram try to become the next YouTube? Instagram is trying to create something unique. IGTV is consciously designed to match the experience of TV viewing. On other platforms, the target audience must search for the content they want to view, but Instagram will give you a hand and play the videos automatically for you. This fits perfectly with the ‘Explore page’ that Instagram already has for posts. IGTV searches for videos that are available under the ‘For you’ and ‘Popular’ tabs. Under the tab ‘Next’ you will find videos of the accounts you already follow on Instagram. An easy and fast way to view content that is tailored to your interests.
Instagram itself says that by 2021 no less than 78% of all mobile data traffic will be mobile videos.
In addition, IGTV has another advantage for influencers, brands and other major accounts, namely that IGTV is automatically linked to the corresponding Instagram account. Users who find an account under the ‘Popular’ tab can then directly click through to the corresponding Instagram account and users who already have an account can easily view the IGTV videos of the account.
Instagram from Nike Football
Insight into statistics
In IGTV it is possible to add a description, title, a photo and a ‘swipe up’ link to each video that is uploaded. Followers can post comments and like the videos and it is also possible to gain insight into the insights. There is even a useful graph available to show when the viewers drop out and when they continue to look. All this enumerated it seems like an upgrade for your Instagram account, right?
The only way to find out is to wait and see: it can be done in any direction. IGTV vs YouTube? Can IGTV compete with YouTube with only vertical videos? Many influencers and brands have been busy during the past week to set up their IGTV account by placing existing (customized) content, but also producing a lot of new content, suitable for the new channel. It turns out to be an ideal opportunity to place make-up tutorials (such as influencer Riley Beek does) or funny sketches (as comedian Lilly Singh did).
Sketches by Lilly Singh
In the reviews of IGTV in the App Store we see various comments: next to ‘Great new platform!’ we also see ‘Why only vertical videos?’, ‘We have got people to look at horizontally’ and ‘Fun, but we already have YouTube?’. Still, IGTV can be the first complete vertical video app to be a game changer, if properly applied.
IGTV for brands
As an influencer or content creator with a large following IGTV is definitely worth a try. But what about brands, what can they get out of it? Personally, I think that the key to success lies primarily in making relevant content. Is the following mainly interested in a personal style? Do they follow the account for the cooking videos? Or are they following the account because of the interesting travel stories?
Will IGTV be a success?
It is important to tailor your content to the interests of your followers. As a Dept. we believe that our following is interested in a nice look behind the scenes at our office, but also new assignments and interesting events. Instagram is still known as the platform for appealing, beautiful visuals and fast, funny videos, so every account should adhere to that. For a brand, this can be translated into interviews or Q & A’s with employees, video introductions or tutorials, exclusive inside information or a recurring theme that is rolled out every week.
What do you think? Extremely enthusiastic about IGTV or do you leave it when posting photos and videos? We are moderately enthusiastic, but time will tell.