Instagram TV

At an event in San Francisco on June 20th, Instagram launched IGTV. With their global community hitting one billion, Instagram has unleashed a new app for watching long-form, vertical videos. Instagram’s copycat features have been slowly killing Snapchat, but now it looks like YouTube is next in their sights.

For some, the new vertical long-form space is an exciting development. Creators are now able to share videos up to an hour long, with anyone able to be a creator. For others, it is another annoying addition to an increasingly cluttered experience.

Currently part of the existing Instagram app, and a standalone app, IGTV takes immersive, full-screen vertical video to the next level.

Bacardi are one of the first brands to capitalise on IGTV. Developed by Bacardi agency BBDO New York, they are teaming up with Grammy nominated DJ A-Trak and Les Twins to produce a music video directed by fans. Given how new IGTV is, many are eager to see the potential of IGTV first-hand.

“This is the brand’s first time working with the IGTV platform,” says Marcos Kotlhar, executive creative director at BBDO New York. “So while we don’t know exactly how it’s going to perform, Bacardi has always been an adventurous brand when it comes to digital engagement with fans. We’re really excited to see how people will react to long form vertical content—we may finally be breaking the trend of horizontal formats for long form pieces of film.”

Bacardi is just one of the many brands experimenting with IGTV and the longform video format. Netflix, Chipotle, Nike, Warby Parker have all entered the IGTV sandbox. It’s no surprise that brands are exploring mobile video content.

According to a recent Ericsson survey, the first quarter of 2018 saw mobile data traffic grow 54% year on year. Additionally, Ericsson is predicting that by 2023, 95% of total mobile data traffic will be generated by smartphones, up from the current 85%.

“Instagram moving into longer-form video content makes sense given Facebook’s continued investment in its video platform,” Rachel Tipograph, founder and CEO of MikMak, a social video commerce company, told Adweek. “For creators who upload long-form content to Instagram, quality storytelling that demands someone’s continued engagement is paramount.”

IGTV presents an exciting opportunity to capitalise on the community building power of Instagram. Through launching movie-quality storytelling, Instagram have created a unique product that appeals to both the creator and the consumer. The Bacardi project highlights that engagement will not be limited to passive viewing. Fan interaction is a trend that is expected to grow with the apps that allow for it to flourish.

Find IGTV in the top right corner of Instagram, or click through on the orange banner at the top of the page.

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