Instagram Challenges YouTube with the Launch of IGTV

As any digital marketing guru knows, social media marketing is always changing and evolving. What may have been popular last year on social media may have drifted into the ever-expanding online abyss, making way for new trends and quirky features. Currently memes, emojis and GIFs have become a key part of online communication, allowing users (including brands and businesses) to express feelings and much more easily but this wasn’t always the case (we know, imagining a world without memes and GIFs just isn’t worth thinking about). We could spend all day reminiscing about past trends and quirks, examples being the Facebook Trending List that was recently axed or even the bizarre Facebook poke, but we believe that it’s always important to look forward and today, the digital world woke up to some big news from Instagram…

Introducing the New Social Media App on the Block, IGTV…

As the Facebook owned company continues to dominate graphic led platforms, now being 5 times the size of Snapchat, yesterday Instagram announced the launch of a new social media app called ‘IGTV’. A stand-alone app which focuses on the creation and distribution of video content, IGTV will allow users to share videos up to 10 minutes in length – in some cases, influencers and users with large followings will even be able to share videos as long as 1 hour.

As any dedicated Instagrammer knows, this is a big step for the king of visual content as up until now, Instagram has only allowed users to share videos that are 60 seconds long. This itself took users by storm back in 2016 when the platform increased the amount of video time from 15 seconds to 1 minute.

Video and Social Media Marketing in 2018

Speaking about the app at an event in San Francisco yesterday, Instragram CEO Kevin Systrom said ‘It’s time for video to move forward and evolve’ and he’s certainly not wrong.

2018 is set to be the year during which video will dominate content marketing. In fact, recent studies show that 55% of people pay close attention when consuming videos and that viewers actually retain 95% of a message when they watch a video compared to 10% when reading text.

For brands and businesses that are concerned with engagement levels and reach, video content has actually been shown to generate 1200% more shares than text and image based posts combined. As any internet user knows, consuming video is effortless and the combination of images and sounds can make messages and points easier to recall in the long term – a picture may paint a thousand words but a video is clearly worth a million…

How Will IGTV Impact Social Media Marketing?

According to recent studies, Instagram now has 1 billion users a month but the big question is, how will the platforms dedicated following take to the launch of IGTV? For many the charm of Instagram lies in its efficiency. With its simple streamlined timeline, users can quickly scroll through images and videos posted by friends, family, brands and interest related accounts, liking, sharing and commenting on posts that grab their attention.

Within seconds users can escape to a digital world which is literally at their fingertips. Offering instant connectivity, Instagram allows users to share and manipulate their favourite photos documenting memorable moments and experiences, whilst communicating with other like-minded people – all whilst simultaneously stripping away the clutter found on other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. It’s this simplicity that makes the platform so successful.

With this in mind, is the Instagram community ready for longer content that requires more attention? With big boys like YouTube currently dominating video content generation and sharing, IGTV may have it’s work cut out to make the cut as has been seen recently with other platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook following the release of Facebook Live – with one global platform already established do we need another or is it time for a refresh? The new time limit may even be gratefully welcomed by the Instagram community due to the new found flexibility that could allow users to be more creative with the content shared.

Only time will tell what the future holds for IGTV but one thing is certain, there’s a new app on the block that could bring with it some interesting changes to the world of video content and social media marketing. The new app will undoubtedly open up new options for influencers and brands but for now, there will be no ads on IGTV, meaning no revenue will be shared between content creators and Instagram. This isn’t to say it’s not on the cards in the future.

IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS and although it is a stand-alone app, people can still watch/ upload IGTV videos from Instagram.

Every year we see new social media apps launched, some which don’t really take off and some that become incredibly popular, dominating the digital landscape worldwide. As digital marketers we’re therefore pushed to try new strategies that not only cater to the new apps but also to changes in consumer interests and behaviour. If you’re interested in finding out more about social media marketing and how it could help your business, contact a member of our team today.