Here are Briscoe French we love keeping on top of the latest social media trends. After all, as award-winning social media experts it’s part of our job to be in the know! A new social media app that’s caught our eye in recent weeks is Instagram TV or IGTV which was launched by the social platform on 20 June, 2018. So what is IGTV and is it something that businesses should be including in their social media and digital PR strategy?
Here’s what we know so far:
What is Instagram TV?
IGTV is the latest add on to the increasingly popular smartphone app Instagram which recently tipped its user numbers over the one billion mark. Essentially it allows users to upload and view vertical videos of between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long, or up to an hour if you have a popular/verified account.
How does Instagram TV work?
If you want to view videos on Instagram the latest update of the app will give you a telly shaped IGTV button in the top right of your screen. Click on this and you’ll be taken to the videos uploaded by the people you follow as well as popular videos.
If you want to start your own IGTV channel and upload videos to Instagram TV then you’ll need to download the IGTV app for iOS or Android. Videos are not live so you can edit them before you upload them. However, they must be filmed vertically and in 9:16 aspect ratio. Trying to upload and reuse horizontal content will not do the trick.
Here’s some still shots of footage we’ve seen uploaded already. From left to right, you can see that the first two videos are being reused and are not the correct format with text running off the screen or the shot being the wrong way around. Where as the third example does the job perfectly.
Is Instagram TV free to use?
This is something a lot of social media savvy businesses will want to know having seen their audiences interaction dwindle on platforms like Facebook as algorithms push them to pay to boost their content. The answer to whether Instagram TV is free to use is yes. However, that’s not to say the income generation team at Instagram (who, don’t forget, are owned by Facebook) won’t be thinking about this.
The good news is that Instagram TV is brand new (launched June 20, 2018) so there’s not much competition for views yet. If you have a good following on Instagram already it might be worth turning one of your campaigns into a video for Instagram TV sharpish and see how it performs.
What type of content will work on Instagram TV?
Filming vertically on your smartphone lends itself more to interviews and talking heads giving advice and expert opinion. However, why not get creative? As yet, there are no rules for Instagram TV so see what works for you.
Can you measure the success of Instagram TV videos?
Yes. Instagram have already put in place insights for IGTV so you can see how many likes, comments and views your videos have received. A view is counted as anything over three seconds but you can also see audience retention – how long the video has kept people’s attention.
Instagram vs YouTube
Should you be moving your efforts off YouTube and onto Instagram? Our advice would be stick to what you’re doing best and dabble with the new toy that is IGTV. It’s still a new platform but one to keep an eye on.
YouTube has the benefits of being a search engine in itself. Instagram users can watch videos by people they follow or view popular content but they are less likely to go on there looking for DIY how to guides and the latest trends in garden design, for example. YouTube is still the king for video content, plus it has the backing of parent company Google which will always push search results that way.
Like every new addition to the social media landscape, Instagram TV is one to watch and add to your social media strategy planning. If it takes off in the same way as Instagram Stories, which now has 300 million daily active users, then it could be big!