How does a revolutionary app celebrate hitting a billion users? They launch a new feature, of course! On June 20, Instagram held a press conference with a number of social media personalities present to announce the launch of their new feature - IGTV. This new feature also doubles as a stand-alone app for users who wish only to enjoy the IGTV experience, though those will be very few.
IGTV differs in the way their videos are presented. Users can forget rotating their screen or tapping to go into full screen mode; the app is already programmed to feed them videos exactly the way they want it, by presenting videos vertically and in full-screen mode when the app is opened. IGTV really plays on the ‘tv’ aspect of it; users simply have to click on the icon to start watching videos, much like the ‘on’ button on a television set.
Videos will be fed to users based on their usual viewing choices, but they also have the option of checking out popular videos and following channels. To date, IGTV is available to all users once they update their apps, but creators are limited to medium and large accounts. Companies can benefit by creating their own channels, allowing them more time to interact and communicate with their audience.
“There’s no ads in IGTV today,” said CEO Kevin Systrom, at the launch. But advertisers can soon expect this feature to be available as Systrom admits that it is “obviously a very reasonable place [for ads] to end up.”
What does this mean for other platforms? To date, Jamaicans are primarily Facebook users, but a large portion of our younger audience are Instagram users. With the 59-second time restriction lifted, companies can benefit by creating more dynamic content to further appeal to, and expand, their audience. This can eliminate the need for YouTube channels or act as a supplemental platform for long-form video content. As this feature allows users to follow a channel, creators can be sure that the users are interested in these long-form videos and know exactly how to tailor the messages based on their following.
Having seen platforms such as SnapChat lose much of their hype and others like Vine die out, creators can take confidence in the ability of Instagram to keep this new platform going. After all, in just 8 years they were able to grow their community to one billion members, with both Instagram and Facebook seeing steady growth in their revenue with the introduction of each new feature. The ease of accessibility with IGTV means users don’t have to learn how to use a new app or download a new app to their device; they can simply toggle between Instagram and IGTV with one swipe.
It’s the dawn of a new age and we’re only limited by our imagination. It’s time to create!
Emjae is a self-proclaimed wordsmith who fell in love with words thanks to Dr. Seuss. She's an avid reader and a recovering screen junkie, and is fueled by coffee and sarcasm. Her work ranges from recounts of her adventures as a mom, her take on trending topics and deep pieces that she weaves from experiences and sheer imagination.