IGTV and The Evolution of Video in Social Media


Video continues to make an enormous impact on social media. A video offers a storytelling format through visuals and sound that engages users’ emotions beyond what a static image or text could do. Videos allow for a more personable connection with an audience. Social media videos are famous for this type of reaction from a fanbase. Users can easily relate to content-creators and influencers, which has caused a decline in traditional TV watching and a spike in watching social media videos online.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a video-only platform that allows creators to post long-form videos for their followers to watch and enjoy. As both a stand-alone hub and platform in the Instagram app, IGTV is accessible through mobile phones or desktops. It automatically imports users’ followers once it is set up, which makes connecting and growing a fan base simple. A user’s ability to watch and connect immediately through the Instagram app makes watching IGTV effortless, with videos playing as soon as the app is opened, with many channels to search and discover. Like Instagram, IGTV lets users interact by liking, commenting, direct sending, and using hashtags to generate meaningful engagement.

How does it work?

Most accounts can post videos up to ten minutes long. Verified accounts, or accounts with a larger following can post videos up to sixty minutes long. The ideal size ratio is 9:16 in vertical or portrait mode, unlike Instagram’s square size ratio. This means it is the perfect size to upload videos exactly how they’re taken, straight from a smartphone. IGTV also allows creators to personalize their videos when they post them by adding a title, description, and cover photo. Following Instagram’s launch in 2010 for sharing pictures, IGTV began a new chapter for video sharing in June 2018.
“We’ve come a really long way in just eight years, and it’s thanks to this incredible community … that we’ve been able to launch IGTV,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on stage at a launch event in San Francisco.

“Teens may be watching less TV, but they are watching more creators online,” Systrom said.

This evolution of mainstream social media videos stems from Instagram’s video competitors Snapchat and YouTube. Unlike its predecessors though, IGTV breaks new boundaries for this evolution of social media video platforms. Snapchat limits its users to posting videos that are only one minute long, and YouTube limits its users to posting horizontal videos that do not play automatically. “It’s time for video to move forward and evolve. IGTV is for watching long-form videos from your favorite creators.” said Systrom.

IGTV’s cutting edge technology is an improved hybrid of the two platforms. The ability to post videos in real-time format from a phone and the capacity to keep them on the screen long enough to actively engage an audience in brings IGTV content creation to a whole new level.

IGTV represents an innovative way for creators to become more engaged with followers by posting content that is more personable.

IGTV is gearing towards videos that are not extremely refined; videos meant to be authentic and personable. IGTV is somewhat of an experimental platform for unpolished videos that are easy to record, post, and share with followers. Right now, consumers are seeing content that is mainly created on the spot from smartphones. Many influencers, celebrities, and content creators are using the platform to post unscripted content, like watching a friend on TV. Being able to post personable long-form videos seamlessly from a smartphone sets IGTV apart from all other platforms. “It’s mobile first, it’s simple, and it’s quality,” Systrom said. “That’s IGTV.”

Currently the app is focused on generating engagement rather than revenue, but once it gains a substantial following, paid ads are not far behind. “There are no ads in IGTV today,” says Systrom, but it’s “obviously a very reasonable place for ads to end up.” IGTV produces a brand-new opportunity for creators to make videos that are designed exclusively for Instagram. Because these videos are longer, stories that are being posted on various platforms can’t be re-used on IGTV. This means more unique marketing opportunities for brands.

Are you interested in how IGTV could help build your brand? We encourage you to contact our team to find out how we can boost your brand’s social media advertising efforts in this ever-evolving market, through IGTV and more. With more than 30 years of brand marketing success, we understand how to navigate the inevitable waves of market changes and shifts in consumer tastes and desires.

Contact United Landmark Associates and let us show you how we can create a unique social media strategy for your business.