Meet IGTV, Instagram’s New Video Platform
Instagram has launched its newest app, IGTV (Instagram TV). IGTV is a platform to share videos with friends and followers that are longer than the 60-second videos allowed in the Instagram feed. Just as Instagram Stories came to be a strong competitor for Snapchat, we expect IGTV to be a contender for YouTube’s audience and creators. Here’s what you need to know about IGTV.
1. Mobile-First Vertical Videos
Unlike YouTube, which mimics traditional television, IGTV is a mobile-first platform. While you can upload a landscape video, IGTV is intended to be recorded and watched like Instagram Stories. People may skip over videos that are in landscape if they dislike turning their phone to watch videos.
Because it is a mobile platform, it’s ok to have videos that are a lower quality than what you might produce for YouTube. People expect you to be recording from your phone with a more realistic feel.
2. Longer Watch Time
At launch, users can upload videos that are up to 10 minutes long. Accounts with a lot of followers can upload videos that are up to an hour. Instagram says that eventually, they will not put time limits on videos from any uploaders.
This gives the benefit of high engagement that people get from stories with more time. In Instagram Stories, videos max out at a mere 15 seconds, so you have to take multiple videos which can be choppy. Now, you can plan and produce a more cohesive video.
3. How to Set Up Your IGTV Account
First, download the IGTV App. While it’s a separate app, it is linked to your Instagram account. Sign in with your Instagram account, then tap your user icon to be taken to the Create Your Channel screen. By tapping on the Settings gear you can switch between accounts, so you can easily log in to your personal Instagram or your hotel’s business page.
4. Post an IGTV Video
Tap your user icon again, then just tap Upload Video to add a video to your channel. You can’t record from IGTV, so you’ll record a video on your phone and then upload it. You can set a custom cover photo for the video, either by selecting a video frame or uploading a photo.
Add a title and description; the title shows when you begin watching a video and if you tap the screen. The description shows if the viewer taps the down arrow on the top of the screen. You can also connect your Facebook business account to share videos on Facebook.
5. View Video Analytics
On your IGTV video, click the “…” button next to the Like, Comment, and Share buttons. There, you’ll be able to access Insights including Views, Likes, and Comments. There is also an Audience Retention section that shows you what percentage of people watched to the end, and at what point people stopped watching.
As of right now, IGTV does not run any ads. However, this will almost certainly change in the future once they have creators and viewers hooked. Plus, right now it seems like brands and influencers are the first to jump on the platform, so even though there aren’t ads, there is a lot of branded content available.
Right now, IGTV can be a little hard to use. For publishers, not having the built-in editing and text features that we’re used to having on Instagram Stories and Snapchat can be hard to get used to. Your phone’s built-in editor should give you some options, or you can edit your video in a computer editor and then save it back to your phone to post.
For viewers, the navigation experience leaves something to be desired. It’s easy to tap things you don’t mean to (like fast forward and rewind) and you have to figure out how to use the app without much direction. Videos autoplay upon opening the app, which can make the user feel a bit out of control.
Finally, the search function at launch seems to find account names to display in search results. It’s unclear if your title or description will help you get found in search, but we’d err on the side of being as descriptive as possible.
Overall, it’s very exciting to have a new platform to compete with YouTube. Instagram influencers are trusted by large audiences, and this move into longer videos will open up a lot of opportunities to get your brand in front of a lot of people.
For more information on how to use Instagram for your hotel, check out ouråÊguide to Instagram’s business tools.