By Noelle Graf
On the heels of announcing 1 billion users, Instagram announced something even bigger yesterday: the introduction of IGTV, a standalone app for watching long-form vertical video. Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom (@kevin) introduced IGTV from a live broadcast event in San Francisco.
This brand-new experience is available inside the main Instagram app, and also as a dedicated stand-alone app. The app is available on iOS and Android, as well as through a tab inside the Instagram app.
The first thing users will notice about IGTV is that it’s designed for how we naturally hold our phones. Videos are vertical and full screen with no wasted space. Best of all, there’s no 60-second limit. IGTV is:
• Truly mobile-first: Full-screen, vertical video format is designed for how users naturally hold their phones.
• Intuitive and easy to use: Simple to use right from the start, videos begin playing as soon as you open the app.
• Quality: In a world of overwhelming choice, you want the best videos. With IGTV It’s easy to swipe through related channels to find more of the type of content you want to see.
How we watch video is changing
Younger audiences are watching 40% less TV than they did five years ago, and spend more time watching amateur content creators. This new category of creator videos is reaching hundreds of millions of followers, giving Instagram one of the most engaged audiences in the world. Video views on Instagram have increased 60% over the past year. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of mobile traffic.
In other words, not only is HOW we watch TV changing, but WHAT we’re watching is evolving, too.
Anyone can be an IGTV creator
Just like TV and YouTube, IGTV has channels – but creators are the channels. Anyone can be a creator simply by uploading videos in the app or on the web.
IGTV also brings audiences closer to their favorite creators. To discover new creators, just swipe around and check out their channels. When you log into IGTV, it will automatically begin playing vertical videos from people you follow, plus personalized recommendations from other Instagram users.
What this means for marketers
• Don’t wait – the time to start an IGTV channel is now
• Use longer video for deeper storytelling.
• Build stronger connections with customers.
• No more limits on type or length of content.
• Reach your audience. With a community of 1 billion, the potential is virtually unlimited.
Instagram has come a long way in just eight years. Like everything they’ve built, from square photos and filters to the launch of video in 2013 to Instagram stories, IGTV is the latest evolution from Instagram. See the full announcement from Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.