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All You Need to Know About IGTV

28
Jun

All You Need to Know About IGTV

Thursday, June 28, 2018
“You deserve better and it’s time for video to evolve.”

This was the war cry of Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, as he launched IGTV last week.

Instagram’s answer to the video ecosystem is based on three principles:

  1. Mobile first
  2. Simplicity
  3. Quality content

Over 1 billion people use Instagram - engaging with their favourite creators through posts, videos, Stories and Live. IGTV builds on this creator-viewer relationship. As the popularity of Stories continues to flourish and users spend less time browsing the newsfeed, IGTV offers an even more immersive way to engage with creators - through vertical, long-form video.

IGTV launched with creators at its heart. The launch featured Instagram, YouTube and even Twitch creators. This sent a clear and threatening message to other platforms. However, the ability of IGTV to challenge YouTube ultimately depends on one question…

Can IGTV change user behaviour?

Research from Hubspot indicates that engagement with Instagram videos maxes out at 30 seconds, whilst YouTube’s engagement is 4x that. For IGTV to thrive Instagram will have to change the way its users interact with content on its platform. Users will have to prefer browsing video to images.

Another issues is whether vertical really can challenge the landscape video we’re used to. Why are Televisions, Desktops and Cinema’s built for a landscape experience? Is mobile really going to change that? Genre also plays a role here - will gamers ever watch hour long walkthroughs in portrait? Probably not… Most content uploaded so far is short vlogs, behind the scenes footage, mini-hauls or travel montages, which may be best suited for IGTV.

The other big issue is monetization. YouTuber Marques Brownlee rightly addressed money in this video: Will creators will be paid for the content that they create for the platform? If Instagram wants quality content, they will need to pay for it. Facebook is taking an age to roll-out ad revenue for creators, so we’re not hopeful in the short-term.

Finally, in terms of searchability Instagram is still a long way off. Searchability on IGTV is a step-up from Facebook and other social media platforms - but it still doesn’t come anywhere close to YouTube’s extensive collection of video content. This means content has a shorter life cycle on the platform - on YouTube a creator’s older content often makes them the most money. This won’t be the case on IGTV.

It looks like Instagram has huge ambitions to transform the way we consume video and take down some social media titans on the way. Do you think they will beat YouTube? Is IGTV the final nail in the coffin for Snapchat?

IGTV Stats

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