Get ready for more video content, this time on Instagram.
With the Facebook-owned platform continuing to expand from its image-based roots, Instagram is reportedly now launching ‘IGTV’, its own, longer form video hub – though the focus is not on episodic, TV-like content, as has been The Social Network’s push with Facebook Watch.
With IGTV, Instagram’s focusing on a younger audience, and content that specifically appeals to digital native users – read as: those who were never brought up on TV to begin with.
These younger users are just as aligned with PewDiePie as they are with MTV (likely more so), and Instagram’s looking to cater to this with short, web creator-focused videos.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram has been meeting with a range of online creators, in order to entice them across to their new video platform. In those meetings, Instagram’s representatives have emphasized 10 minute vlogs, as opposed to extended programs.
The actual specs of Instagram’s new longer form videos are, reportedly, as follows:
- Videos can be up to 60 minutes long (a big jump from Instagram’s current 60-second limit)
- Videos can be up to 3.6gb
- Videos will be in MP4 format
- Videos should be 9:16 size
Rumors of Instagram’s longer form video hub have been floating for the last few weeks – but do Instagram users actually want to watch longer form video content on the platform?
That’s the key question – as noted, the move here seems more focused on creating a challenger for Snapchat’s Discover than the video efforts of Facebook Watch (which is pushing to take market share from YouTube).
On Discover, Snap has focused on publishing scripted programs of between three-to-five-minutes in length, catering to audience interest. Rather than challenging traditional TV, Snap has sought to create a complimentary TV viewing experience, which aligns more with fast-paced mobile consumption, and is more resonant with younger users.
That’s where Instagram sees opportunity – but it is also worth noting that Snap’s video programs haven’t exactly set the publishing world on fire, with several shows failing to generate significant interest, and subsequently being canceled.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Snap from adding unskippable 6-second ads – though that’s also partly as a way to reassure advertisers that their video ad content is actually being seen. The average view time for Snap ads is currently less than two seconds, though according to Snap, that’s not such a bad thing, it just means you need to top-load your messaging. How you view their stance here is dependent on your perspective.
But even with those assurances, Snap is still looking to make more direct connection with advertisers in order to teach them how to make more native-looking ads for the platform, in order to improve performance. Really, none of the signs suggest that Snap’s video efforts are going as well as they’d hoped – but then again, Snap is pushing ahead. They wouldn’t be doing so if there wasn’t enough viewership to continue.
You could probably go either way on Snap’s video efforts as an example. To the Snap optimist, they show that the platform is on the right track, and their video efforts are producing results. To the Snap pessimist, maybe the company needs all the ad dollars they can get, so they’ll push forward regardless as they reach for more lucrative video ad offerings.
And then, how does that relate to Instagram?
Maybe it seems like too much, a step too far away from what Instagram once was. But then again, look through your Instagram feed and it’s increasingly video, and video content on Instagram generates the most engagement, in terms of both comments and Likes.
Maybe, then, Instagram’s move is pure logic, catering to user demand and providing a more specific platform for influencers, encouraging them across. More influencers spending more time on Insta means more users sticking around to see what they do. There’s plenty of reasons why this could be a stroke of genius from the platform.
Whether it works out that way, only time will tell.
This story originally appeared in Social Media Today. Image courtesy of TechCrunch.