For the past decade, the way we consume media has been heavily influenced by mobile and social media, and it seems the future will be no different.

Instagram recently launched IGTV (Instagram TV), and in this article I'm going to discuss what IGTV is and what it means for advertisers.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a new feature on Instagram that allows users to share videos that are up to one hour long. Today, anybody with an Instagram account can start their own TV show, essentially.

IGTV serves video in vertical format as their research found that it is the preferred format for viewing by their users.

There are two ways you can access IGTV. They are:

Native app – Instagram has created a standalone app which you can find in the Apple and Google store called IGTV. You can log in under the same account as your Instagram profile.

Update Instagram – If you don't want to download another app, you can update your current Instagram app and there will be a new option at the top right-hand side connecting you to IGTV.

How does IGTV work?

IGTV is completely separate from Instagram Stories and posts. IGTV is essentially a new inventory unit and does not get in the way of content in your Instagram feed or Stories.

Whether you access IGTV through Instagram or the native app, as soon as you turn on IGTV, content starts playing right away, just like a TV.

Upon logging in, this is what you'll see:

IGTV
The top half of the screen will show IGTV content from one of your current followers.

The bottom half of the screen will allow you to switch between channels of accounts you follow. You'll also be able to search by keywords and see what is currently trending under the popular tag.

Users can leave comments under each video, and if the ITGV stream is live users can like and interact with the show.

Anyone can become a creator and upload a video if they have an Instagram account.

What does IGTV mean for ad buyers?

At the moment there is no option to buy ad inventory on IGTV, and I don't expect this to change for 2018.

When Facebook and Instagram launch a new placement, the first year is all about fixing user experience issues and learning how their users engage with content.

From a marketing perspective, the best way to leverage IGTV right now is to start creating long-form content. This is the first time you'll be able to upload content as long as one hour on Instagram!

Whereas before you were limited to 15 seconds or one minute, depending on placement, with a whole 60 minutes new opportunities are available. Some ideas include the following:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Live webinar
  • Interviews with social influencers
  • Long-form brand messaging content

IGTV launched because users are consuming video at a much higher rate, and the next evolutional step in how we consume content is IGTV.

Once Instagram gathers more data on IGTV, I believe 2019 will be the year they start offering advertisers the chance to buy ad inventory to show their long-form videos to new and existing audiences, or to insert ads pre and mid-roll.

What do you think about IGTV?

I'm loving IGTV already. Brands and influencers are already talking to the platform and trying a number of things to see what works.

IGTV puts an even greater emphasis on how important video creatives are for a successful Facebook and Instagram marketing strategy.

Are you leveraging IGTV yet?