Introducing Instagram TV (IGTV)

Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Rose

22nd June 2018

On the day that Instagram celebrated reaching one billion users, the company also announced a brand new feature – Instagram TV, or IGTV.


What Is Instagram TV?

IGTV is a new offering from Instagram, enabling users to share longer videos on the social media platform. The new feature is set to rival YouTube and Snapchat.


What format do the videos take?

Videos on IGTV will be displayed vertically and full-screen, so to get the most out of your videos you’ll need to optimise them for mobile viewing. Unlike the videos you can already send on Instagram which are restricted to one minute in length, IGTV videos can be up to an hour long. And like television, the videos will start playing as soon as you open the app. This could feel a little different from watching videos on YouTube – rather than searching for what you are interested in, you will be instantly presented with new content from the channels you follow.


How does it work?

IGTV will consist of channels – with the creators being the channels. When you follow a creator, their IGTV channel will appear for you to watch. You will be able to upload your own videos in the app or on the website to start your own channel. Users will be able to like, comment on and send videos to friends.


Do I need to download a new app to use IGTV?

IGTV is both a new section of the Instagram app, and it’s available as a standalone app for iOS and Android.


Is IGTV a real threat to YouTube?

Instagram parent company Facebook is yet to rival YouTube with its native video offering, despite YouTube’s history of upsetting creators with changes to monetisation rules and algorithms. This is because Facebook doesn’t currently have any monetisation systems in place at all for its creators. However, it did announce the launch of Facebook Watch earlier in June. This video service would offer pre-recorded and live original programming. Facebook also announced a range of new services to make live videos more interactive, such as real-time polling and Q&A style filters. Along with these announcements was the news that publishers and creators would have access to the “Ad Breaks program” – good news for creators and advertisers, but perhaps not the best news for YouTube.

Meanwhile, IGTV is yet to announce any monetisation plans for creators, but with a billion users already on its platform, its off to a flying start in terms of potential usage. With high volumes, a high return is likely to follow, so businesses will do well to watch this space – IGTV may form the latest part of your paid social marketing strategy.

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