IS IGTV THE NEXT BEST THING FOR THE MOBILE GENERATION?
IGTV (that’s ‘Instagram Television’ for those of you who have just managed to figure out which device you’re reading this on) is the platform’s most recent foray into the world of longform video. As an extension to the Instagram platform itself, where users are limited to videos of 60 seconds or less, IGTV allows us to upload content to an hour in length. You can access IGTV through the shiny little orange TV logo at the top right of your Instagram feed or through its standalone app.
Instagram really are going toe-to-toe with YouTube on this one, with Instagram bosses admitting that the 60-second limit on videos was holding the platform back. Viewers will be able to swipe through a variety of longer-form videos, or swipe up to visit a Browse tab of personally recommended videos, popular videos, creators they’re following and the option to continue watching previously started videos. Users will also get callouts from the IGTV button alerting them to new content. Interestingly, all video content is in vertical orientation – because God forbid we have to turn our phones 90 degrees. IGTV is also ad free.. for now.
From a user perspective, the lack of ads will be a welcome break from the constant barrage of brand messaging on literally every other platform available. Just think, a curated haven of shiny user-specific video content with no mention of dreadful protein products or gardening equipment that was never really relevant to anything you’ve ever viewed in the first place!
As picturesque as this idea is, from the perspective of brands, it’s a challenge to see where you can drive value here without investing some serious time, energy & cash on top notch video content. “No ads? No point” – digital marketing managers across the world, we hear you. IGTV might just be the the catalyst for a shake-up of the modern digital marketing landscape. This could signal a move from the ‘scream into the void & see what happens’ approach of many other ad platforms – especially if you don’t have a sizeable media budget behind you as Facebook limits organic content reach by up to 50%. IGTV might just force brands to get creative (literally) with their digital marketing efforts in order to authentically engage with their audience on a human level instead of just dropping $10k for their clicks.
All of the above is perfectly possible – or IGTV might just fade into digital obscurity, relegated to the app graveyard resting comfortably right beside Flappy Birds. We can only hope that Kylie ‘Queen of the Gen Z’ Jenner doesn’t pull a Snapchat & bash it on Twitter or IGTV might be dead before it realises its full potential.