Earlier this week, Instagram announced some exciting news: 1) they now have a billion users and 2) they’ve launched IGTV – an app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators. You can download the standalone app on its own, or just start watching straight from your Instagram. Either way, it works directly with your Instagram profile.
Here’s what we love about it:
- It’s vertical, which means you can watch video and see everything full-screen on your phone exactly as you hold it – no more turning your phone horizontally.
- You can use links in the video description, which is a nice feature that’s missing from the OG IG.
- You can use hashtags but these will just lead to the regular IG hashtag search results.
- Unlike YouTube, there’s no real search function. Instead, you have categories:
- For You
This curates an experience for you based on what you like and who you follow, while still giving you the opportunity to discover new content if you wish.
- No more squeezing content in under a minute: Each video can be up to an hour long.
And – while we’re testing out the app – here’s what we could do without:
- It’s vertical. Yes, we both love and hate this feature. As content producers, this presents a challenge. You can no longer create one video for all channels since the IGTV video will have to be formatted to its specs, so it increases the cost of production.
- It’s a good thing that everyone can create a channel if they wish – this feature isn’t limited to influencers or celebrities. But we’d love to see a mute function – we still want to be friends with creators, just not see their videos if we don’t want to.
- Autoplay. As of right now, the videos start playing as soon as you launch the app.
It’s a good reminder that IGTV shouldn’t be used as Instagram stories; in fact, Instagram just released a 48-page handbook on how to create the best content for the platform.
For businesses, IGTV is very exciting and a great new feature in the landscape of digital marketing. We can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. Want to discuss how we can use IGTV to your business advantage? Let us know!