This week, Instagram launched a new platform called “Instagram TV” or “IGTV.”
What Is Instagram TV?
Here is a brief explainer from Later.com:
IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience.
YouTube has exploded in popularity in recent years, and because of mobile video, the amount of time teens spend watching TV has decreased 40%!
By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV.
Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel, where they can share long-form videos with their followers.
For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit.
In short, Instagram is one of Facebook’s latest efforts to steal attention away from YouTube toward one of its own platforms. Facebook Video has done that some, but not among young people to the extent Facebook would like.
I have been skeptical of massive Instagram updates in the past (I thought Stories would fail), and the idea of an entire new platform tied to Instagram does seem suspect to me. But Instagram has done too much right to make me doubt them this time.
I do think IGTV will struggle if it is going to rely heavily on people leaving YouTube for IGTV. I don’t think that is going to happen. But, assuming viewers will content on both platforms, I think we will see a lot more YouTubers posting longform content on IGTV and YouTube.
Should You Care About IGTV?
This is a difficult question to answer because obviously it is going to depend on your platform and your ability to create longform video content.
But, generally speaking, yes. You should care about IGTV.
Every major change or addition to its platform has been successful for Instagram the last couple of years. There is little reason to doubt this new feature will be any different.
If you create video content right now, you should be looking into how you can re-purpose your content to be posted to IGTV. Or, if you have the capacity, you should be looking into how you can create new content on IGTV. Remember: every social media platform is different, so re-purposing video content from other platforms may not be the best idea. It’s going take some practice and some testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t on the platform.
If you don’t have the capacity to create video content on a regular basis, you probably shouldn’t care about IGTV. That’s OK. You don’t need to be creating content for every social media platform.
Download the app, give it a spin, and see if it’s something that you think your audience is using and you have the ability to create content for on a regular basis.
Chris Martin is the Co-Creator and Chief Content Officer at LifeWay Social as well as a Content Strategist at LifeWay. He and his wife Susie live outside Nashville, TN.