IGTV - what's our point of view?
Jeremy Cohen, July 2018
GIVEN THAT WE CONTINUE LOOKING AT PARTNERSHIPS ON A GROUPE BASIS, THE POV BELOW INCLUDES THOUGHTS FROM LEADERS ACROSS PUBLICIS AND ALSO DIRECTLY FROM THE INSTAGRAM TEAM.
On June 20th, Instagram launched IGTV, a new mobile app focused on expanding vertical video’s global footprint. In Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom’s own words, “IGTV is for watching long-form videos from your favorite creators”. The standalone app is currently available for download on both iOS and Android, and IGTV will also have a tab (upper right corner) within the core Instagram app.
*See an IGTV demo here
*See a guide for creating IGTV content here
Instagram’s logic in creating IGTV is most easily summarized in the following 3 charts:
Key IGTV Details
- Unlike legacy Instagram videos, IGTV users may upload videos up to 10 minutes in duration
- Accounts that have 10K+ followers are able to upload videos up to 60 minutes in duration
- IGTV is mobile-first and supports full-screen, fast-loading vertical videos (4:5 to 9:16)
- Videos within the IGTV interface are segmented into four categories (plus Search functionality):
- “For You” – Curated experience based on the user’s perceived interests
- “Following” – Videos from the creators that a user follows on IGTV
- “Popular” – Videos that are spiking in virality at that point in time
- “Continue Watching”
- Unlike Facebook Watch, any user may upload video content onto IGTV
- Unlike Instagram Stories, content within IGTV does not expire and disappear from the UI
- There are currently no advertising opportunities within IGTV, though that will likely change within months
- There is support for links within video descriptions, which may be the first step in preparation for monetization
IGTV vs Facebook Watch: Complementary or Competitive?
With the launch of FB Watch in 2017 and IGTV in 2018, Facebook is clearly placing strategic bets on the future of long-form digital video, ideally at the expense of linear TV and YouTube. Both products are social at the core, but whether IGTV is (1) a truly complementary product or (2) a hedge against the unknown future of FB Watch, is a question that will only be answered over time. In Facebook’s own words…
Considerations for Brands
- Brands with significant Instagram following have a rare opportunity to reach audiences in an environment currently free of algorithmic filters
- IGTV is a new ecosystem for a new generation of talent, showcasing the lives and personalities of digital video creators in a fresh environment. With this in mind, brands should include IGTV within influencer strategies to leverage existing Instagram influencers who now have a more comprehensive canvas in which to express their creativity
- Brands should review existing vertical video content assets to determine if this content is aligned with the culture and audience IGTV aims to build
- Brands should track the evolution of IGTV while simultaneously concepting long-form vertical video series and campaigns
- Until ad solutions become available for IGTV, Facebook is explicitly encouraging brands to test their strategies and build their vertical video libraries within Instagram Stories
We will continue to work closely with Facebook to provide timely updates regarding IGTV’s evolution and implications for our brands. In the meantime, please reach out with any specific questions.