What’s IGTV and why brands need to test it as a marketing channel while it’s new

Instagram has YouTube clearly within its sights with its latest release of IGTV.

The new feature released last month allows for long form content, like YouTube, and differentiates itself from its main competitor by having playback in vertical format (as opposed to landscape).

As the majority of YouTube content is consumed on mobile devices (Think with Google), it seems Instagram are targeting these viewers with the idea of making video easier to watch from a smart phone in portrait mode, similar to the capture and playback Snapchat pioneered.

Although Instagram has had video capabilities for a while these have focussed on clips of up to one minute. IGTV on the other hand is a dedicated video platform enabling social media creators to upload videos of up to an hour currently.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook has also delved into video content with Facebook Live and short form video clips but has struggled to capture the attention of teenage viewers in the same way Snapchat and YouTube have.

The development of IGTV may be an attempt to reignite this audience on Facebook products.

As IGTV is so new it offers a great opportunity for early bird creators and brands to make their mark on the platform.

Many creators on Instagram are experimenting with the new app, while several high profile YouTubers are also asking fans what they want to see from them on IGTV.

The app works by making the feed of different creators into a designated channel and audiences can discover creators to watch by switching between ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’ sections of the app.

Viewers can also engage with the content by liking, commenting or sending videos directly to their friends.

It remains to be seen what analytics Instagram will release to help brands fine tune the medium as a marketing channel, however, Instagram currently releases audience demographics and viewing statistics.

So far IGTV seems to be well received, especially by Millennials and Generation Z-ers, and with a growing audience that’s thirsty for new content on the app brands who test out IGTV now will see the greatest impact.

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