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Instagram’s newest feature: IGTV

What is it?

Instagram announced a new feature on its app during June – IGTV. But what is IGTV? It means videos can now be viewed in long-form, vertically and can be up to an hour in length. Gone is the 60 second video limit as this becomes the next step up from the popular Instagram stories. This means that now, more than ever, the power is in the creator’s hands. And with Instagram reporting that is has over one billion active users, it is essential to be creating engaging content for your business.

Video for IGTV

How do I use it?

You can either view IGTV from within Instagram by clicking on the small TV icon in the top right corner, or download the separate app which is solely for viewing uploads. I personally choose to use this feature within the Instagram app, so I can easily switch between viewing and my usual feed.

When you click on the small TV screen icon, next to the paper airplane icon, you can now see all of the uploaded videos that are ready for viewing on the bottom tab. Here you will find different sections on your feed. Firstly is the ‘For You’ section, which are videos that would be most popular for you based on your viewing trends. Next is ‘Following’ which focuses more on the videos that people you closely follow have uploaded. Then we have ‘Popular’ which are videos from creators that you might like to watch/follow, based on your previous interests. And lastly ‘Continue Watching’ is quite self explanatory, storing videos which you may have not finished watching.

The feature offers absolute ease to whomever is using it, by playing videos instantly from opening the app and giving you suggestions, rather than having to search for it. Users can like, comment and direct message the videos to their friends.

#IGTV offers absolute ease to whomever is using it, by playing videos instantly from opening the app and giving you suggestions, rather than having to search for it. Click To Tweet

Why it’s a great feature to use

By using IGTV for your business, you are able to create in-depth and more specialised videos for the demographic you want to advertise to. And whilst pictures are a great way to advertise, videos are always much more engaging. But how do businesses use it and what is the future? Monetisation of ads on IGTV is still undecided, but with dedication from the viewer to keep watching, in between ads could be a great spot for businesses to get their name in the feed. As the ability to start creating on IGTV is being rolled out slowly, it is important to take initiative and be one of the first to use this powerful tool. Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO at Socialbakers, writes “With one billion monthly users spending almost an hour on Instagram every day, IGTV only stands to increase that number. The brands who will do well on IGTV are the ones who know what kind of content their audiences like and use that information to create relevant, timely and engaging content, retaining viewer attention for longer.” It is time to think about how you can use this to your advantage and how to relate to your audience demographic.

What content has been doing well already?

In the few weeks that IGTV has been live, huge brands have been putting out videos and racking up the views. These videos have been effective as they have been editing them in the vertical format, creating content which showcases their brand in the correct way for their intended audience, and taking advantage of the extended run time. One example is Netflix, who have been testing the new feature with a video of the actor, Cole Sprouse, eating a burger. Yes you read correctly. It shows the brand’s playful side and is testing the ability to put up a video with a run time of just under an hour (although we’re not all quite convinced in the office – perhaps we need to be bigger fans!).

Another highlight is a video from BBC Earth’s channel showing the infamous scene of the Iguana running from snakes in Planet Earth 2. This is as thrilling in vertical form as it was on the TV!

Do you have a favourite video from IGTV that you didn’t see here? Let us know on Twitter @CariadMarketing or comment below. Follow us on Instagram @CariadMarketing to see how we will be working our own future magic on IGTV!

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