What is IGTV and Why Should I Care?

Last week, Instagram released IGTV, a new feature for their app that enables users to make and release video content up to an hour in length that can be shared with their followers. Keeping with the app’s aesthetic, videos are primarily uploaded vertically but uploading them horizontally is also possible. IGTV’s announcement has drawn obvious comparisons to YouTube and for good reason. But while YouTube is a more traditional platform for long-form video content, Instagram may have just cracked the code on how to shine an even bigger spotlight on its most active users. Here’s why.

Eyeballs – The announcement of IGTV coincided with another announcement that Instagram had surpassed one billion (!) users worldwide. This is especially important given the apps overall demographics. Recent polls show that over sixty percent of Instagram users are principally millennials, those between the ages of 18-34, while the bulk of Facebook and Twitter users are older. Such a young audience already uses Instagram to keep track of its favorite brands, athletes, and celebrities. IGTV will be a surefire way to capitalize on its users’ desire for more engaging content from those very sources.

Easy Engagement –The brilliance of IGTV is that it caters to users already in possession of a baked-in audience. The biggest struggle in creating a YouTube channel is that without any exposure or fan base of any kind it can be extremely difficult to attract a following. But regardless of whether you’re a blue-check verified mega-influencer or have just a hundred followers to your name, people will see your posts on IGTV. For small businesses trying to grow their audience, this could be an easy way to cast a wider net; especially now while content on the platform is still fairly limited.

Marketing for the Future – At the start of the 2010’s, the social media landscape resembled the wild west with its constant one-upmanship of apps constantly vying to be the most downloaded app of the week. It’s now become a shrinking aristocracy of just a few billion-dollar companies, each one striving to achieve total dominance by leveraging the best ideas of their closest competition. Of the app-giants, Instagram has done the best job of this. Their implementation of “stories” took a concept pioneered by rival Snapchat and polished it to fit their brand. IGTV is poised for an even higher level of success based on the untapped potential of its billion-user base. In a world where Instagram is poised for a global takeover, adopting its latest feature could be a once-in-a-decade opportunity.