Instagram's IGTV: Decoding the opportunity for brands and creators

Facebook-owned Instagram introduces IGTV, a new app to upload long-form vertical videos, intensifies competition with YouTube.

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Published: Jun 22, 2018 8:56 AM  | 4 min read

Instagram has launched a new mobile app called IGTV to compete with Youtube. The latest addition is another feather in the cap of the social media giant Facebook, which already owns WhatsApp, Instagram & Messenger. The company launched the app on Wednesday at an event in San Francisco.

Instagram will increase its time limit for video, which used to be one minute earlier. IGTV would be integrated into the current Instagram app and will also be available as a standalone app. It will allow users to upload and watch long-form vertical videos, and will also include channels from video creators, the way Google-owned YouTube does.

At the event Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom said, “It’s time for video to move forward and evolve. The IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute. The way we are watching video is changing”.

The social media platform, founded in 2010, has already surpassed 1 billion active users. The company said, it has signed up with influencers like Lele Pons, who has 25 million followers on the platform, as well as video game streamer Ninja.

The company does not have any advertising plans right now, but research firm eMarketer expects to have ads sooner on the new platform.

“The company does not immediately intend to share revenue with video creators but may be in the future”, Kevin said.

There is no buzz in predicting, the ads will appear on the platform, and Instagram intends to share revenue with the videos creators, the way Youtube does.

As soon as the app was launched, it created hype in India, especially in digital and video marketing domains, on how advertisers can take advantage of this app and what new models can be created and introduce.

According to Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and Co- Founder, White Rivers Media, “IGTV is at a phase where it is building video content pool and influencer channels. Brands can partner with 'soon-to-go-IGTV-viral-influencers' and do smart product placements or video branding with them."

"Youtube content creators have seen their ad revenue dipping and Facebook has jumped on the opportunity to hit it at the right spot by introducing additional channels for people to view video content. Facebook vs Youtube is not a battle as big, as the probable share they might take away from TV advertising, which is estimated to be more than a $200 billion industry”, he continued.

However, he believes small video content is in demand, he asserted, “Crisp micro-content has a better future than a long-form video, as increasingly, because of more options and lack of time, people are getting impatient to watch videos beyond 300 seconds”. Long form videos make sense when the consumer is not leaving the universe of the app and the experience is intuitive as it is in snapchat”.

Mr. Suresh Reddy (Chairperson and CEO, Brightcom) consider it to be an effective tool for advertisers. According to him, “The launch of Instagram’s IGTV affirms that Facebook is dedicated to making sure that it does not leave any of stone un-turned. These one-hour long videos on Instagram’s app will act like honey for the youth who are always seeking new and interesting content and eventually the digital advertisers have their target group set at millennials”.

He also opined, “CPM (Cost per thousand) seems to be the most viable advertising model that IGTV could follow. It will allow advertisers to monetise from the platform in the best possible way and allow them a guaranteed and predictable stream of revenue over the course of the agreement. This could be an opportunity to get the digital advertisers excited for a vast platform like IGTV. Advertisers can reap benefits in as early as a year of its existence.”

Pooja Gururaj, Lead- Channel and social media at VML India thinks, IGTV is an evolution in the video viewing patterns of digital behavior.

"The strongest implications of IGTV for advertisers is a new facet to collaborations with content creators. This hints at how seriously they are taking the ‘For You’ and ‘Popular’ sections of the app. Making it more suggestive and intuitive. But, we will still need to see just how open the audience is to downloading yet another app and staying active on it! Actionable links in description, more video cover space, features and basic analytics definitely give hope for effective marketing efforts. But, advertisers will have to unlearn and learn new video consumption patterns, formats and even themes of this platform. While content creators seem to already be going big on the app, we will have to wait and see if the audience makes IGTV a highlight or let it disappear like a story.

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