Last week, Instagram threw us all for a loop when they announced IGTV, a new content format for creators who want to shoot edit and create content vertically.
No more awkward screen turns, and watching something vertical be formatted horizontally! Since Instagram is in an entirely vertical orientation, it makes so much sense to release extended content in this format. I will tell you right now, I’m here for it. It isn’t perfect, but it’s something good.
Although for years and years since the development of cell phones, people urged us not to fall into the clutches of vertical video – it’s really about time. We consume most of our content on our phones, and while I have no beef with watching content in a horizontal orientation, I don’t mind watching it vertically if it’s made that way.
But the blogger in you was probably like “Seriously?” another way that I need to create content?
And the answer to that is yes.
There are so many platforms out there for us as creators. This gives us so much freedom to adapt our content for different platforms and help us get ourselves seen. IGTV is no different, even though it may seem like a crazy change from all of the video you’ve been shooting.
Some of the best things about IGTV:
- The URLs in your captions actually work, so if someone does by chance click your caption, you have an opportunity to lead them back to your website.
- The format is one we’re used to shooting in already – and allows anyone to be a creator. Most of us have cell phones, and some of us like the ease of that being our tool to shoot with. For instance, I take almost all of my IG photos on my phone – it will be nice to have that be my tool for everything.
- It’s actually pretty easy and intuitive to add a video to. In my few test days of it, I’ve shot some pretty good cooking videos and blogging tips that my audience seems to enjoy.
- Anyone can do it, you don’t need fancy tools – just good content and yourself. I like that most things aren’t so polished.
- It allows you to have an extension of Instagram Stories. No more 30 videos long 15-second stories.
Some of the worst things about the IGTV:
- Right now the platform promotes people who are already popular, and not necessarily people who are up and coming. I think the platform could do a better job of finding good content from people who may not have as many followers.
- It’s going to bother me for a long time that people will take the shortcut out and not make content natively for this platform. If you’re going to share videos on IGTV – FORMAT THEM FOR THE PLATFORM. Don’t put a small horizontal video in all of that real estate, don’t turn your horizontal video vertical and make me watch it sideways. If you’re going to use this channel for distribution, we’re going to need you to really use it. Dedicate some resources to it, or don’t waste your users time.
- The appeal of Instagram for me is how easy it is to discover new content. It’s not easy to do this on IGTV and I hope Instagram eventually lets you tag and sort your videos maybe by hashtag or category. It would be neat to click on a hashtag and just like you can search for photos and stories, you can see IGTV videos under that tag. I would also love to see some IGTV in the explore tab.
- It really doesn’t need a standalone app. I probably won’t open it if Instagram does a good job of integrating it into the original app. I just don’t want another thing to have to open each day if I’m being honest.
- Instagram should let creators monetize their channels, whether that means letting us ask for donations to keep creating content, or putting ads on our stuff and giving us a cut per view/click. Although Instagram is not Facebook or Google, people with strong personal brands are going to want to benefit from this. Additionally, brands are also going to find a way to sponsor this content.
Overall, I see so much value in IGTV, but also room for growth as more people decide to adopt this platform as a place for sharing content. I’ve put my first few pieces up, and am doing a daily show on blogging there. Hopefully, you’ll hop over to Instagram and follow my IGTV Channel for behind the scenes content.