After Facebook bought the popular photo-sharing app in 2012, Instagram has begun expanding its services in an effort to serve different user needs.The firm recently announced the launch of IGTV, a new platform that will serve long-form, vertical videos.
According to an Instagram blog post on Wednesday, IGTV will exist as a stand-alone app as well as a feature on the standard Instagram app. Videos will be shown vertically and full screen and can run for up to an hour, as opposed to Instagram's previous one-minute limit.
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As soon as the app is opened, videos will begin playing, the post said. This seems to be a tribute to actual TV and explains the name. Users can view content based on their interests and can follow specific channels.
CEO Kevin Systrom said that the new feature is helping video evolve.
"Teens are now watching 40% less TV than they did five years ago," Systrom said during the app's launch in San Francisco.
IGTV will not have advertising at launch, a Reuters report stated, but will sign internet stars up for endorsement deals.
Similarly, Facebook announced its new effort to offer users money on the Facebook app. Monetization will not immediately be offered through IGTV, but Systrom left the possibility open for the future.
While the feature has obvious implications for consumers, businesses can look forward to utilizing this feature in many ways. Here are some potential use cases.
1. Welcome/training videos
The long-form nature of the content could allow businesses to produce welcome and training videos. Using the additional length, companies could create videos to explain their on-boarding process, walk users through daily tasks, and go over safety and compliance requirements, to name a few. And, the vertical, mobile-native video model could increase engagement with such videos.
2. Product demonstrations
IGTV also presents businesses with the opportunity to better market their products by creating videos showcasing their uses. In-house experts can create how-to videos for physical products that are easily consumable on the end user's phone.
Though advertising hasn't been approved for the app, it's highly possible that there will be a future potential for marketing and advertising through this app. Instagram is already a popular program, and IGTV will likely generate a lot of user traffic, helping businesses extend their reach.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Instagram's new video app, IGTV, will make it more convenient for businesses to share one-hour, long form videos on mobile.
- Businesses can use IGTV to share product demos, marketing content, and training videos with their customers and employees.
- Instagram's new IGTV video app gives creators a YouTube alternative (Download.com)
- Digital transformation: A CXO's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Digital transformation: Three ways to get it right in your business (ZDNet)
- Effectively use social media for business applications (TechRepublic)
- Tech careers: It's time to pump up the volume if you want to succeed (ZDNet)
- How to be a social media team of one: 7 tips (TechRepublic)
Laurel Deppen is a student at Western Kentucky University.