There have been some big announcements from Instagram in the last week. First, it now has a reach of over one billion people! And second, is the introduction of IGTV – Instagram TV.
IGTV is a new app which allows you to post and watch videos up to an hour long, a big increase on the current limit of 60 seconds. Not only will videos be longer, but they will also be full screen and in vertical form – built specifically for viewing on your mobile device. We think this is pretty cool!
Though this is a completely new app, users will also be able to view IGTV videos through the Instagram app as well.
How to use the app
To get started, just download and open the app, and videos posted by people you follow, or people Instagram think you might be interested in, will automatically start playing. Think of people as creators, and creators of channels. When you follow a creator, their channel will be on your IGTV feed for you to watch.
IGTV is still a fully interactive app, allowing you to swipe up to discover more. You can also switch between ‘For you’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue watching’. This means that you can easily access a variety of material, all of which you can like, comment on and share with friends via Direct (Instagram Messenger). You can also use the search bar to find new content.
As well as viewing content its also easy for you to become a creator yourself and to post your own content. You can upload videos in-app or on the web to create your own channel (watch out YouTube!). Previously Instagram content could only be uploaded in-app.
You will get your own channel automatically when you update the Instagram app.
As you can imagine, there will be content regulations which include the prohibition of posting violent, nude, discriminatory or hateful content.
What IGTV means for businesses
Its unclear exactly what IGTV means for businesses at the moment. Instagram have not yet announced if there will be space for adverts within videos, or whether they will pay creators for views as is the case with YouTube. We will be updating you on this when things become clearer.
What is clear is that these are exciting times for Instagram, which has exploded in popularity and influence in the recent years. It’s also an exciting time for video content, moving fully away from desktop apps and being designed specifically to get the most out of your mobile.
If you ask us IGTV could be a big contender for Snapchat and YouTube in the near future.