We reveal everything you need to know about Instagram's new video platform, IGTV.
With recent figures released by Instagram suggesting that 50% of all video viewing will be done on a mobile screen by 2020, it's clear that Instagram is adapting to the new and exciting ways that audiences are consuming media.
In a nutshell, Instagram TV allows users to upload vertical videos that are over 60 seconds long. Unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV videos can be to up to one hour in length and won’t disappear after 24 hours. Currently 60 minute videos are only available to big name brands and verified accounts. At present 'regular' users are limited to just 10 minutes of content.
Users can either access IGTV via Instagram itself or a separate IGTV app altogether. Similarly to Facebook and Facebook Messenger, the two apps sit alongside each other but can also function independently. Each IGTV channel is linked to a corresponding Instagram account, which means that all of your current Instagram followers can view your channel.
When it comes to the app's interface, users have the option to browse 'For You', 'Following', 'Popular', and 'Continue Watching' tabs - similar to those of the explore page. Drawing from Instagram again, users can also like or comment on videos, and send uploads to friends via messenger.
Videos are uploaded in full screen and vertical format and start playing automatically as soon as the app is opened. Instagram has revealed that the reason videos are vertical is to encourage users to shoot content on their phones. It's hoped that this will lead users to upload content that isn't heavily edited and has an authentic feel.
The main areas of content creation that users have focused on so far have been vlogging, product launches, behind the scenes footage, and campaign videos. Creators have their own channels, like YouTube, and can add “swipe up” calls-to-action on videos. Videos can be uploaded to the IGTV app or the web and users are also able to optimise their content to boost its searchability. Users can add a title and description to each upload. There's also the option to add a thumbnail to each video to keep your profile looking cohesive and on-brand.
Like most new Instagram updates, you should start testing out IGTV now, while it's still fresh in users' minds and generating a significant buzz on the platform. This app may be one of the first video features of its kind, but with tough competition from arch rivals Youtube and Snapchat, it certainly won't be the last.
Words: Daniel Flay