5 June 2019
IGTV launched with a ballsy play: let users upload their videos in vertical format only. It was a bold move intended to disrupt the status quo established by YouTube.
Instagram planned IGTV to be the pioneer of 9×16 and they had the form to pull it off. Fresh from crushing Snapchat in the race to own the 24-hour story format, a billion monthly users and over 500 million accounts using stories daily, it wasn’t unreasonable that they could make their own rules for video creators too.
But creators were hesitant to follow. There appeared to be little incentive to film a new format of video that was unusable anywhere else. Creating a new edit of an existing video was a time consuming workaround, often requiring shooting content in a different way to make the video display properly. Mass adoption has also been an issue. As of right now only 0.5 percent of Instagram users have installed the native app.
Then there’s monetisation. Unlike Youtube, IGTV doesn’t currently offer any ways to make money off the views. Currently there is no ad integration. Content creators are used to linking advertised products and tagging the brands used in Instagram posts and stories, and neither of these options is currently available.
The official press release describes the decision to support landscape video:
“We realise this is an evolution from where IGTV started – we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators. In many ways, opening IGTV to more than just vertical videos is similar to when we opened Instagram to more than just square photos in 2015.”
It’s a smart position. Social media platforms are only relevant if creators and their followers use them. Getting creators on-side and listening to their feedback is what will put IGTV on the map.
With content format limitation off, we anticipate a big spike in uptake of IGTV
More incoming videos from Youtube Creators
More breakout stars
More cultural zeitgeist moments on IGTV
What’s more, we’re backing it at OK COOL. We love the format and are busy putting out cool bits for our clients.
Here’s a little something to whet your appetite. The first episode in our #BrixtonEats docu-series for Brixton Village starring @holisticbaddie. IGTV let’s go!
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