Social media has recently gone through many massive shifts. The original text posts became less popular and photos and images became the main driver of traffic. Now, internet video has taken this progression to the next logical step and has become pure gold in every way.
Video increases engagement, is boosted higher in the algorithms, and plays squarely into the fact that more people are watching internet videos in general now more than ever before. 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day and there are more than a billion people that are still active on YouTube. Even Snapchat, which has been losing steam, still brings in an average of 10 billion clips per day.
Since Instagram is the most popular image-based social media platform, it only made sense for them to release IGTV – their own video platform. IGTV is available in a separate app as well as being accessible from within the Instagram app. The videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long and are in vertical video format, like the videos on Stories. With IGTV falling somewhere in between YouTube, Facebook, and Stories videos, the level of success it will reach is a bit unclear at this point, but with the skyrocket success of Instagram over the past eight years, it is definitely an avenue that should be considered for your social media marketing efforts going into 2019.
IGTV allows anyone to be a creator with long videos, not just celebrities. The vertical videos can be uploaded through the app or from the web. Viewing IGTV from inside the Instagram app is simple. You just hit the TV-shaped button above Stories. Users can swipe through the posted videos or swipe up to show recommended videos or videos from creators they’re already following, as well as receive alerts when new content is posted. Creators can also create channels for their videos with links in the description to drive traffic elsewhere like their own website.
So far IGTV videos are commercial free, but no one expects that to remain the case for long should the venture gain the type of success Instagram is hoping for. Episodic videos have recently started gaining some traction, which will be key if the platform hopes to muscle some market share from Facebook and YouTube in the long form video space. This is a good bet to make at this point in history since internet viewing is expected to finally catch up with television viewing in 2019 with about 25% of that time spent on video.
Using Instagram for business is as essential now as using Facebook was (and still is, of course) when Instagram was still in diapers, and their continuing drive into various forms of Instagram video will help solidify that position going forward. With live videos, in-stream short videos, Stories, and now long-form videos challenging long-time video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, Instagram may well become the go-to video marketing platform in the future. While that position isn’t yet certain, no business that takes digital marketing seriously would be wise to “wait and see” when it comes to IGTV.