What is IGTV and do you need to be on it?

What is IGTV and do you need to be on it?

If you use Instagram for yourself or your brand then you’ve probably noticed a new button at the top of your feed, right next to your direct messages. If you haven’t explored what it is yet then we’re here to explain. The fact it’s shaped like a TV is a bit of a giveaway but if you still haven’t guessed then Instagram have just launched a new app called IGTV. It’s available as its own application but also as an add-on feature of the original Instagram app. It will feature full-screen, (up to) hour-long videos and has been built based on how you actually use your phone. That means that all of the videos are full screen and vertical.

Instagram’s Co-Founder & CEO, Kevin Systrom explained how IGTV works during a talk last month.

How IGTV works - Instagram's TV app

It’s been rumoured that Instagram plans to eventually let all users post videos of unlimited length and host full-blown shows that will compete with traditional TV. From a watcher’s point of view, it sounds very straightforward but what about brands, should they be using this new tool and if so, where do they start?

At the moment, IGTV is still very new so it’s hard to make predictions about what kind of content will be most popular on there and whether or not it’ll take off how Instagram want it to. That said, one thing is for certain: people are trying it out and they seem to like it. So far, some of the biggest Instagrammers and brands have already uploaded videos. It seems to be so far that IGTV has been made primarily with celebrities, well-known influencers and big brands in mind and for all other Instagram users to watch. However, there is no reason why smaller influencers and brands can’t get involved, too.

How IGTV works:

To get started, all you have to do is download and open the IGTV app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android), click on your profile picture which will be shown on the right side next to a cog. It will then prompt you to create your channel before taking you through a number of steps and giving you some advice, too. Once you’ve done that, you need to click back to your home feed. When you want to share a video, you have to click your profile picture again to be taken to your channel, then press the little plus button and you’ll be able to upload a video.

Unlike Instagram and IGTV’s main competitor, YouTube, IGTV doesn’t include any features for actually making a video you want to upload. That means that you’ll have to record your clips elsewhere and format them how you please, either on your phone or on your computer before sending them back to your device and saving them to your camera roll.

You’re probably wondering at this point whether there’s any benefit to you and your brand being on IGTV. Well, there’s no clear answer just yet but, in the world of social media, there’s never any harm in mastering new integrations and tools in order to stay on top of the trends. Most of the videos which have been uploaded to IGTV so far haven’t been anywhere near to reaching the 1 hour time cap, the majority are around 5 to 10 minutes. If you have the time and are keen to learn how the app works as well as see the analytics side of it then why not film a short clip for your business explaining who you are, why you do what you do and what makes your company different? The same rules apply for all social content, you want to stand out from your competitors so if you can get across in a short video what your most unique selling point is then you’re bound to do well. If your goal is to show a more personal approach to your business then you could film each member of staff and give a little insight into what their role is and what they like to do outside of work. If you’re a business with products, you could film an unboxing or compile a video of a few of your customers talking about their favourite thing you sell. There are a lot of options and the future is video so there is nothing to lose by seeing how IGTV works and finding out what it can do for you.

Have you already tried IGTV? If so then let us know what you uploaded in the comments below. If you are yet to explore it, do you feel more inclined to after reading this?

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