Instagram have shaken up the social media and TV world by launching IGTV a new feature that allows users to post long form vertical videos with ease.
Prior to last week Instagram restricted the length of video you could upload depending on the post type:
- Instagram feed – a video post to your feed can be 1 minute long.
- Instagram story – videos can be just 15 seconds long. Users have been getting around this by cutting longer videos into 15 second sections (rather fiddly) or doing live videos (rather nerve racking). Instagram stories also disappear after 24 hours, unless pinned as highlights so are ideal for more throw away content.
IGTV allows videos as long as an hour long, enabling Instagramers, brands and influencers to create more engaging content. General accounts can post up to 10-minute long videos, however larger and verified accounts can upload videos of up to an hour.
IGTV can be accessed through Instagram or you can download the app separately.
So, what makes Instagram IGTV different?
- Videos are full screen and vertical making it easier to make videos without having to fiddle with settings.
- The app starts playing videos from users that you follow as soon as you open it, like turning on the TV.
- It’s really easy to post videos to both Instagram and Facebook.
- Finding videos to watch is also simple – you can switch between ‘For You’ (based on your activity on Instagram), ‘Following’ (videos from those you follow), ‘Popular’ (trending public videos) and ‘Continue Watching’.
How to join IGTV and start uploading videos
- Open IGTV through the app or Instagram
- Create an IGTV Creator Account
If you are already on Instagram your account will be linked to IGTV and you can choose to continue with this account or switch.
- Create an IGTV channel by tapping on your profile picture or the gear icon.
- Go to your channel by clicking on your profile picture.
- Click the + icon and IGTV will access your video library.
- Add a title, description and cover photo – place keywords in your title and description to help with reach and add a compelling cover photo.
- Check out your analytics by clicking the … icon next to like, comment and share.
How can brands use IGTV?
Currently there are no ads on IGTV but it is likely that this is the direction it will head in. Brands therefore should be looking to utilise IGTV to create great content and partner with influencers.
Lele Pons, who has a whopping 25.2m Instagram followers, is planning to launch a new cooking show on IGTV, Gucci are sharing their fashion shows (https://www.instagram.com/tv/BkQOGu7hCRt) and Netflix posted an hour of Cole Sprouse eating a burger – and it has had over 750k views!
Think about the different features of Instagram and which feature best suits each piece of content. IGTV shouldn’t replace your stories. Stories are an opportunity to build brand personality – add annotations, make them fun and engaging without needing to invest too much resource into the creation.
IGTV also has great content analytics like Instagram itself. This will allow brands to analyse what content works best for them. ‘Audience Retention rate’ is a particularly useful metric giving a breakdown of the percentage of users who watched the video all the way to the end and you can see where in the video users drop off. All great learnings for content creation.
Should you start using IGTV?
Instagram now has over 1 billion users – a great opportunity to reach your audience.
However, to cut through the mass of content you must invest in creative, inspiring videos. Don’t just make your videos longer because you can – use those extra seconds and minutes wisely. Instagramers will quickly tell you through comments, follows and analytics if your investment is delivering – and if it’s not go back to the drawing board, listen, plan and create.
Video isn’t the future it is now. Brands that do not embrace video as a media to engage with their target audience will get left behind.