As a social media platform, Instagram is known for adapting to change quickly. With over 6 internal changes made to the platform in the month of May alone, Instagram is constantly rolling out updates. Though it can be seen as simply an attempt to put the needs and desires of their users first, some see particular updates that the app implements as an attempt to converge features of other social media platforms onto a single app’s interface.
In August of 2016, Instagram first implemented the “Stories” feature, which functioned in a similar fashion to Snapchat. With users able to post their every day, less curated moments in the form of pictures and videos on Instagram stories that would disappear after 24 hours, the appeal of Snapchat seemed to dwindle. For businesses, however, Instagram stories provided a mode through which to share more content with their followers without flooding them. Since users are given the freedom to opt into watching Instagram stories with a click, businesses with Instagram accounts were able to share more content without inundating their followers with too much content, lowering the possibility of losing followers for this reason.
Instagram implemented a new feature allowing users to easily record and share videos up to ten minutes long, or even an hour long for verified accounts. After Snapchat released a feature to extend the duration of videos from 10 seconds to a maximum of 60 seconds in July of 2017, this recent move on the part of Instagram appears to be strategic. Seemingly, this was done in order to keep Instagram competitive and as relevant as possible in the social media market, and to foster the idea that Instagram is an all-in-one app, offering the same features that other apps tout as their main, differentiating feature.
How IGTV works?
Referred to as IGTV, the new video share feature is connected to the IGTV application, which allows users to follow one another and subscribe in order to be the first to know when others post video content. Videos can be published on both the Instagram app’s interface and on the website, providing businesses with additional though connected platforms to share content on, as well as additional modes through which brands can gain exposure and expand their following base.
"With the release of the latest IGTV platform came the announcement that Instagram now has 1 billion monthly active users"
Regular accounts can now remove the 10-minute video and upload them, while larger accounts will get the ability to record hour-long videos. Currently no monetization IGTV no, but in the future the company plans to add encouraging content makers to remove hour limit on videos.
How Brands and Businesses can take advantage of the IGTV update:
- Interact with your followers more directly
In the same way that Instagram stories appear at the top of the feed, new IGTV videos also appear at the very top of the screen on the app, maximizing a brand or company’s chance of being noticed by their followers.
- Gauge feedback on products or services from your followers
Users can comment on IGTV videos, which brands can take advantage of through engaging their followers in polls and questions, encouraging a form of direct interaction between brands and their audiences, increasing trust, transparency, and oftentimes resulting in a more loyal following.
- Increase your Followers by enjoying more visibility on social media
The IGTV works in a continuous loop, it keeps showing you new videos and recommending similar content to you, this can be a new ways of gaining new followers
- Share more and special content with audiences without crowding their feed
Instead of advertising their product or service to followers, this video feature on the already popular platform can be used to encourage transparency and clear interaction between followers and content producers
- Provide fresh content to your followers packaged differently
With this increased visibility, brands get the opportunity to share content on their Instagram pages without fearing the consequences of over saturating followers with content that can be perceived as advertisements.