IGTV Translated.

Instagram, the center of the social media-verse, has upgraded. And by upgraded I mean it’s moved from Comcast to Fios in a retro, “taking things you loved and bringing them back in a new way” kinda way. Instagram has recently added a streaming component to the platform called, IGTV. But you already knew that. It’s not like you live under a rock.

Buuut, for those who aren’t quite as tech-savvy, IGTV is a feature in which Instagram celebrities, aka middle schoolers and trendsetters that have thousands to millions of followers, can create and share long-form videos. The feature lives inside the Instagram app, but also is its own separate app for download. Very Facebook Messenger of you, Facebook.

When opened, IGTV automatically pulls up videos of the influencers you’re following, videos you’re expected to enjoy (hi, algorithm), and the most popular videos of the moment. All the content is created vertically, optimizing screen space and “watchability.” Essentially, it’s streaming created specifically for smartphone viewership.

The marketing landscape has changed drastically since Instagram’s surge to the scene. Microinfluencers, Instagram users with between five and ten thousand followers, are the new craze because of their high engagement and niche audiences. Sponsored content is almost more common than organic. And users are generating more digital talk than companies really ever knew they needed. Not to mention, we live in an age where everyone is an ambassador for something.

When you have a platform shift like IGTV, it’s key to think about how companies are going to take advantage to push their messaging. It gives marketers another avenue to showcase brands but now in longer form, more tailored pushes to consumers. They can work with highly followed Instagrammers to better reach their target markets: the users that are constantly streaming the videos created by specific influencers. The possibilities are endless for creativity, but it wouldn’t be surprising if more regulation around sponsored and paid ad content pops up soon. #SPONSORED

As for what IGTV means for the average Insta-lover? More ways to digest content. More binge-watching and trend-following. Users also have the ability to create their own channels to share their own work. So, if you’ve ever wanted to for viral for a talent, this might be your best shot. And, while you’re at it, be sure to check out what your favorite Instagrammers are up to. Some of my go-to influencers, like Chinae Alexander and Aimee Song, are sharing their secrets and creating series.

It’ll be interesting to see how the landscape changes with IGTV’s rise. It’s direct competition to Youtube, and it changes the preexisting orientation that most content is created in (goodbye, horizontal), making it harder for marketers to repurpose old material for new views. And for the plain Janes of the feed, who knows, it might never even catch on. Guess we’ll have to scroll and see. 

Catch Insta’s share of the new feature here and learn how to make your own channel here.


Stuck in my head: Modern Love // Houndmouth
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