The IGTV Buzz:
We have come to time where social media consumption is at a paramount. Social media networks have come and gone right in front of our eyes. And here is the brainchild of Instagram(well, Facebook); IGTV.
What is IGTV? Everyone is in that buzz phase just like with any other product launch. Also, people are keen to see if IGTV is the next big video platform that could potentially take down YouTube(Let me come to that later on next post); who am I to say NO! But let us wait and see.
IGTV- A Little Bit Of History:
Before we get in to What IGTV is really about, lets us take a look at what Instagram has done to videos in general.
Back in 2013 when Instagram launched the ability to upload videos on Instagram, no one really cared at first, but then it trickled down to people little by little. Not because videos were not popular, but because of the video format Instagram used.
It was almost disgusting to look at square videos with nasty filters on Instagram, while YouTube was climbing to its heights with video hosting perfection. But nevertheless, Instagram stuck with what it has introduced as far as videos on the platform.
Interestingly it became apparent that Instagram was not playing around. Instead, it was making the masses accustomed to what was to come. An entirely different genre of video experience. In 2016, Instagram introduced Vertical video format in the form of Instagram stories.
In a way, it was a relief to see tall and vertical videos even though no one was used to watching video like that. Why? Because it was much better that looking at square ones!
Instagram stories exploded and creators started utilising to its fullest potential. Lo and behold, a whole new generation of video consumers took shape. People got used to holding their smartphones vertically just like it would be used otherwise for the most part.
Honestly, I personally never thought I would become a fan of vertical videos. But Instagram made me one. Isn’t this the case with a majority of us video consumers? I’m pretty sure the answer is a big resonating “YES”
Back to my point, by 2017 creators have flooded their Instagram profiles with vertical video content and great content creators emerged just from this video making.
Psychology Behind Instagram Videos?
The way Instagram stories work is trenchant in a way where it utilizes the basic human psychology of attention. You got a quick few minutes during your break at work or where ever you are at; you pull out your phone, open up Instagram and what do you look for? You don’t even want to scroll through the posts at this point.
And there it is right there; Instagram stories. Quick and dirty. You tap once and the unending(almost) scroll unfolds before you. One Instagram story after another. Don’t like a story swipe or tap and you are on the next one. You get hit on different pleasure centers in your brain by now. You got to decide what to watch and what not to. You enjoyed watching someone taking photographs, creating videos, snowboarding, skating, making a joke or whatever it is that you are following on Instagram.
My point here is, by the time you are done with your break; you have consumed a huge amount of video content on Instagram stories which otherwise would not have been possible. Well there is facebook videos, YouTube etc but not like Instagram stories in any way. And you go back to whatever you were doing satisfied(Or not). While you were on Instagram stories, your attention was there 100% even for a short period of time.Instagram trumps with this entirely new genre of video content format.
Instagram stories captures your attention because of its unique nature of short videos. Even Though it is still a headache for creators in one way or another, to create these 15 sec videos; I guess it not by chance Instagram stories are short.
The short 15 sec nature of Instagram stories serve the need for instant gratification in a way. Creators are drove to being more creative to make enticing storylines within the constraints of the video format. This in turn immensely increased the quality of Instagram stories. I am talking about those who take it seriously to make daily content on Instagram stories.
By this time, we all got used to all video formats and constraints put forth by Instagram. It became a norm to watch not only 16:9 horizontal videos but to consume tall, vertical videos and still the square ones on the side(lol). You have to remember that these were invented by in a way, by Instagram. A whole new genre of video consumption.
Oh and I did not forget about the counterpart of Instagram stories on Facebook. I just don’t want to go into that. Do you still use Facebook like before? Oh well!
Where were we? Yes, by the time it has become a norm to watch video in forms which once were disgusting to look at; here comes IGTV.
And what does IGTV have which Instagram stories doesn’t have? Long form vertical videos. No square videos, no 15 sec limit; but pure vertical video experience “As it supposed to be watched”.
To quote Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom “IGTV is an app for watching long form vertical videos from you favourite creators”
Absolutely true, and hey, I am in no way criticizing IGTV. It is an awesome news that a new credible platform has come forward for the content which is the future of all content consumption; which is video.
The IGTV App:
While IGTV is a standalone app, it could easily be accessed from the instagram app. All you need is an update installation on your existing Instagram app and you should be good to go. Better yet, there would appear a notification bar in colour above the Instagram stories, when a new video is up on the IGTV app from one of the creators you follow.
Now the biggest question is “Is IGTV going to kill YouTube?” my answer is NO. And that is for a whole different topic.
In one way or another, it was inevitable for the “need” of vertical form content. The technological advance in smartphone industry is yet to see the possibilities for human race. Video is undoubtedly the winning content going forward. And Instagram has made a bold move with IGTV.
From the IGTV announcement event at San Francisco, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom also threw out a little bit of statistics on how teenagers are going towards video consumption on mobile devices. It is just a fact rather than a surprise.
Considering the young generation is without question the future of the global economy, I don’t think it is wrong to say “Video is the future”.
The IGTV Advantage:
I bet you know what happened to Periscope. It was a big deal when that came out. Twitter being a social media giant on its realm, everyone though periscope was going to take over other related social media networks. Rest is history.
I can’t speak too much about snapchat because I’ve never used snapchat. I never wanted to. So I’ll leave it at that and move on with the IGTV advantage.
The critically bold move Instagram has done from my point of view is to combine IGTV within the Instagram app, which twitter failed to do with Periscope. Even though IGTV is a seperate app from Instagram, you could always access it from tapping an icon right from inside Instagram.
Also, Instagram has over the years acquired a huge creator base and even bigger follower base. This gives IGTV an upper hand on its take off. Not to mention the vertical video format dominance.