Instagram has officially announced its intention to become a video platform that lies somewhere between Snapchat and Youtube. The video app and hub will be known as IGTV (Instagram TV) and will support long-form vertical videos.

The video platform comes in two forms: a standalone app in stores and as a section of the IG app. Unlike the current conditions where regular videos run for 60 seconds and stories span 30 seconds, IGTV supports longer and full-screen vertical videos that run for as long as an hour. The app is already up and running and users can start uploading their videos.

Why long form vertical videos?

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For marketing brands, short stories limit how much they can cover. Previously, a longer concept had to be broken down into smaller portions and posted at different times, making everything unnecessarily complicated. Mignoni, Bacardi’s director of creative excellence admits that there is a need for both long and short form videos, allowing marketers to choose what works best for their specific narratives.

Snapchat has had unprecedented success with its long-form vertical videos, and it appears every celebrity wants to try it out. Maroon 5, Nav, Lil Uzi Vert, Taylor Swift, and many other celebrities are posting vertical videos. This illustrates just how popular the vertical format has become. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that most of these videos are only a few months old.

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Instagram is capitalizing on its heavy user base to continue its assault against Snapchat as well as compete for Youtube’s massive market share. Although the app is targeting celebrities and video bloggers, anyone can post videos via their channels – similar to Youtube.

The million dollar question is, will Instagram users watch videos that are longer than they are traditionally used to? Well, it’s been reported that Instagram is advising video makers stick to videos that play for around 8 to 10 minutes. This will make the platform distinct from traditional TV fare and more like Youtube.

Currently, Snapchat’s 1-2 minutes videos receive roughly 20-30 million views per month. If Instagram TV gets something closer to that, then it might become the top platform for uploading and watching vertical videos.

Regular videos do not shine much on Instagram and Facebook

According to Eric Lam, the CEO of Revfluence, an influencer marketing platform, IGTV is not a radical invention but rather a natural evolution that is reacting to the needs of its users. He went on to say that “people use Facebook for a variety of reasons and not to watch long videos. Introducing such a feature won’t be a natural fit on such social platforms.”

Revfluence’s research also points out that the performance of regular videos (not stories) on Instagram was dimming. The total posts with these videos only make up for 4% of all branded IG posts.

Vertically oriented videos (mostly stories), on the other hand, continue to witness a steady level of growth. Therefore, it makes sense for Instagram to want to offer more of these videos rather than the conventional horizontal or square formats.

How Instagram TV Can Transform Business

IGTV will give businesses a chance to express themselves in detail regarding the launch of a new product or service. E-commerce stores, beauty parlors, and other companies will be able to create tutorials showing customers how to use a particular product. This will make them an authority in their niche leading to a good bottom line.

Having said all that, we can all agree that Instagram’s IGTV, being an open platform, has the power to tap into the revenue that has been going to YouTube. However, it may be extremely hard for it to outshine Youtube as this platform is home to almost every media.

If you’re ready to implement an Instagram strategy, download our ebook on getting a social media program up and running at any size. 

 

This article originally appeared in Social Bees Media. It was written by Jennifer Frances from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.