Instagram is making the jump into long-form videos with a new feature called IGTV, the company announced on June 20. According to the release, Instagram is building IGTV with creators in mind, and they’re doing it in a way that utilizes the pre-existing audience of 800 million Instagram users. With this new feature, Instagram is going all in on full-screen vertical video optimized for mobile viewing.
Our First Impressions
IGTV has now rolled out to most Instagram users, so we’ve had some time to play with it a little since the announcement. As soon as you launch IGTV from your Instagram app, it starts playing a video uploaded by someone you already follow on Instagram. From there you can easily search through other “channels” from the people you follow or browse through popular videos.
Videos on IGTV are longer and more permanent than Instagram Stories, which launched in 2016. While Stories have a maximum length of 15 seconds and disappear after 24 hours, IGTV videos are uploaded to a permanent library on the creator’s channel and have a max length of 60 minutes! Those numbers mean that IGTV videos also beat in-feed videos on Instagram, which have a maximum length of 60 seconds and don’t support full-screen viewing. Ultimately, IGTV is an important step for Instagram if they want to get serious about mobile video, which it appears they do.
Creating your own channel is easy too. It’s only a couple of button clicks when you do it through the Instagram app. IGTV is sure to be a big hit among celebrities, media companies, and major brands as a way to engage their audiences.
What It Means for Brands
While it is sure to be a hit among professional and amateur content creators alike, IGTV will likely be a powerful tool for brands to connect with a bigger audience. Instagram claims that people are watching less TV and more digital video these days and that by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. Plus, brands that are already on Instagram won’t have to build a following from scratch, as they’ll be able to leverage their existing followers on that platform.
Instagram is betting big on the future of mobile video, and you can bet brands will be eager to explore this new feature for themselves.