Instagram has stepped into the video boxing ring with YouTube by launching IGTV, which allows users to create videos up to an hour long.
Like Instagram itself, IGTV is formatted specifically for mobile devices. The new app provides yet another channel in which businesses can use video to reach potential customers and clients. IGTV can be found in the main Instagram app or a dedicated IGTV stand-alone app. Unlike YouTube, IGTV videos play in vertical format, full-screen, with no wasted screen space. They start playing immediately when you launch the app.
If a user likes an image or video on Instagram, the corresponding IGTV channel will be available to watch. IGTV features a video creator community in the form of “channels,” instead of users, so it’s easy to follow people or topics of interest such as adventure, cooking, travel, or fitness. Anyone can be a creator by simply creating a channel and uploading a video.
The marketing potential of IGTV is enormous. Similar to Facebook Live, IGTV allows businesses to produce video store tours, show employees at work, create “how to” videos, display items in a business storefront, or showcase a manufacturing process. There also may be opportunities to sponsor or partner with content creators on IGTV. According to Social Media Today, 90% of consumers say videos help them make buying decisions. In fact, four times as many buyers prefer watching a video about a product than those who prefer to just read about it.
How is IGTV different from YouTube?
For a while, at least, IGTV videos will be ad-free, but Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, likely won’t let that continue for too long if viewership takes off. Instagram also has said that it wants its video creators to be able to generate income from their content.
How to access IGTV from the Instagram app
- Launch the Instagram app and click on the IGTV icon at the top of the screen. It looks like a retro television.
- Watch the IGTV intro video, refresh the Instagram app and starting creating and watching videos.
Don’t have Instagram… no problem
- Get the IGTV app.
- Search videos suggested “For you,” “Following,” “Popular,” Continue Watching” or “Search” for a favorite community creator. As with Instagram, it’s easy to send videos, like, or comment on the IGTV app.
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