If you already spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram we predict you’ll be on there even more from this week, because they’ve just released their new feature that’s got everyone talking. Some may even say its the best update so far. Watch out YouTube because IGTV is here. Instagram announced the news of their latest feature at a flashy, influencer filled event in their hometown of San Francisco after hitting 1 billion users a month.
Since being acquired by social media giant Facebook in 2012, Instagram has overtaken Snapchat after including stories, the explore page and Instagram Direct to the platform. With the addition of up to hour-long videos, they are coming after YouTube hard and fast, with the new feature allowing users to create content that transcends the usual length of any social media post.
Instagram explore pages act as a portal where we can access content from hundreds of people and watch almost anything through simply searching a hashtag – but IGTV might just be your new favourite function. Accessible through the both the Instagram app and a stand alone app, you’ll be able to access channels from those who you follow, but Instagram will also give you a recommended ‘For You’ channel.
IGTV will keep the idea of community amongst Instagram as it allows you to interact with channels with the ability to like, comment and share videos.
With Instagram being a mobile first platform, all videos for IGTV will be vertical, rather than the more traditional landscape format we’re used to watching lengthy videos in. Users will be forced to change their viewing habits, but could this pose a threat to IGTV? In 2017, Elite Daily reported that those under 25 spend on average more than 32 minutes on Instagram everyday, while those who are 25 and over tend to spend more than 24 minutes a day scrolling. However, that time was not all in one go so the question remains to be seen, will the notoriously attention-short users spend up to one hour on the app in one sitting to watch these lengthy videos, or have Instagram stories been so successful because they’re released in short, snappy bursts.
Creators will be converted to channels and will go by the same username as their current Instagram handle – so if someone follows you on IGTV, consider them subscribed to your channel. IGTV isn’t just accessible to those with a blue tick, it’s available to everyone, allowing anyone to create a video channel. Could you become the next big thing on IGTV? If you’ve always wanted to create your own video series, but starting a YouTube channel with a subscription count of zero was a bit daunting, this could be the perfect platform to kick start something. Whether it be a morning breakfast show or a video based agony aunt column, you could say ‘Instagram is your oyster.’
Unlike Instagram stories, there are no ads as of yet on IGTV, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be introduced and when they are – advertisers will surely see this as a challenger to traditional broadcast advertising.
So after yesterday’s revelation, we’re left with a couple of questions. The first one being, what does this mean for YouTube? To the tech-savvy Gen-Z’s, social media has become an extension of their day-to-day life and 29% of them find the influential method of marketing being seeing or hearing of a brand through social media.
Secondly, what does it mean for influencers? Everyone using IGTV will be given the same tools to create videos for their channel, so could we see an influx of new social media figures? On the other hand, for existing influencers, brands and their art of collaboration it could see them stepping away from YouTube, and the process of recording, editing and uploading; they might decide to switch to IGTV for good and utilise the savvy method of straight forward filming and adding to their channel.