Instagram has previously had no qualms about encroaching on to the territory of other social media apps, as demonstrated when the company launched Instagram ‘Stories’ in 2016, directly competing with Snapchat. Now, the firm, which is owned by Facebook, has got YouTube in its sights.
The announcement last week that Instagram would be launching a new app, called IGTV, indicated a seismic shift in the entertainment and technology sectors – despite the small screen, the use of specifically-tailored portrait-mode videos will likely establish mobile devices as the primary entertainment provider, ahead of television or other gadgets. This explains why IGTV has been built as a stand-alone app – albeit one that can be accessed from within the original Instagram app.
IGTV offers a platform where consumers can view longer-length videos than those offered on the traditional Instagram app. Each of these portrait mode videos are made by individuals and posted on their own ‘channel’, which consumers can choose to ‘follow’. Users of the app can still interact with videos and posts in the same way that they could on the traditional app – for example, by ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ on and sharing videos with other users.
The launch of IGTV has several notable developments for those working in marketing and communications. With IGTV, you will be able to upload videos directly from a desktop device – making the use of social media management tools like Hootsuite much more efficient. Secondly, the length of videos that can be posted on IGTV will be 10 minutes for most creators, and 60 minutes for influencers – a vast change from the 60 seconds currently offered on the main Instagram platform.
This is particularly significant for crisis and litigation communications practitioners, as extending the length of videos on IGTV will allow more complex issues to be discussed and debated among Instagram users. For example, long-form videos can be filmed on the steps of a court when a judgement is handed down and then posted onto IGTV. It is important to note that at present, live videos can only be posted using the original Instagram app. There will currently be no ads on IGTV – although, Instagram itself has conceded that this will likely change in the near future.
IGTV simply provides another platform through which brands, campaigners and communications experts can collaborate with influencers to reach a wide and increasingly international audience. As to the success of the new IGTV app, only time will tell.