IGTV: What is it and do I need to use it?

Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo Goliath, has recently launched a handy new feature: IGTV. Certainly, it’s an interesting development, something that I don’t think many of us saw coming. Although it was interesting that they released it, the current video market is completely crowded. But as a small business, do you need to use it? Should you? And if you do want to use it, how can you do it?

The logo for IGTV on a coloured background.

So what is IGTV?

Instagram TV is a place for longer videos, the stories can only hold so much video before it automatically cuts off and we’ve seen a lot of bloggers, in particular, using stories for long videos.  Instagram will not have been happy with this, this is why they introduced IGTV – a longer version of stories. 

A longer version of stories, or long-form videos as they are calling them, may sound familiar and they should. Essentially when you boil it down to the basics, IGTV is just another video platform in an arena already swamped with video platforms. YouTube is still and will be for a long time, the market leader, we also have Facebook and their platform, and the gamers favourite Twitch.

Is it a business band-wagon?

A lot of businesses are already using IGTV, bigger companies like Netflix and The LAD Bible are unsurprisingly the most active as we can see it. We definitely think it’s worth smaller businesses using it if you are already an active member of the Instagram community.

If you are not on Instagram, then we don’t see any reason for you to begin your journey now. IGTV doesn’t change the platform that much and it’s not a groundbreaking feature, we still have Periscope, Facebook and YouTube which will likely get more views and more interaction.

If you are already on Instagram, how do you use it best?

This is a difficult one to answer, it’s a video platform but it doesn’t work like a video platform. So just copying your videos across might not be worthwhile, and unlikely to make anything.

Having a quick bounce around of ideas, we think you could try one of the below solutions to using it:

  1. Snippets of your current videos – use the platform to promote different sections of videos you already have. If you make things, you can share your latest crafting video or show the making of a video.
  2. Unique content to IGTV – this is likely going to be the best idea if you are planning to use the platform. You could do a behind-the-scenes of a YouTube video, a unique Instagram themed post (make the logo out of paper!) or something like that.

Is it going to last?

Although it’s a nice addition to the platform, Instagram is already bloated with stories, to take on Snapchat, and it’s original photo sharing platform and if you take into account the already crowded market of video platforms. We don’t think it will last.

Yes there will be a bunch of early adopters, people that are loyal to the Instagram platform but other than that it’s nothing that is likely to stick. We think it’s worth using if you are already signed up to Instagram, but we wouldn’t bother advising anyone to start an account just for the new feature. 

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