Instagram Television: We can all be famous.

With the arrival of the third quarter of 2018, Instagram announced that it’s already a community of more than one billion users and celebrates it with the launch of Instagram TV. Its video platform seeks to compete head-on with YouTube for the attention of users, the talent of the influencers, and the money of the advertisers.

This is the most important news since the creators of this social network gave us the option to “mute” the accounts without unfollowing them.

IGTV works with pieces that can last up to 1 hour if you have a verified account and just 10 minutes for standard users. These videos will live within “channels”, which can be viewed directly through the original Instagram application, or through its own app: IGTV.

One of its main features and differentiators with YouTube is the focus on vertical video, which is aimed to the trend of consumption of content through the smartphone and as it works on television, it starts automatically when you turn it on; with content extracted from the channels that you follow.

The module that explains the operation of this platform is now online and it’s expected to be available in the upcoming days worldwide.

IGTV in the Instagram app. Source: Instagram.


According to the CEO, Kevin Systrom, the intention of this project is to continue helping people to connect with what they love and at the same time give anyone the opportunity to become famous, even those who do not have a large amount of followers yet.

Systrom and his team really understand well the role they play. As the cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki puts it in his 2015 book:

“Google, Facebook, Instagram and other technology companies are today our touchstone, verbs and reflection of our identity. They offer us more than momentary fame and fortune, they allow us a permanent connection with the constant current of pop culture and the possibility of heading directly into the future. “

Therefore, it is important to closely analyze the options that Facebook Inc. will give brands to take advantage of this new format and be able to approach their consumers the proper way.


The first recommendations

While many brands and their agencies are already looking for ways to create relevant content for their accounts, particularly in Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, this announcement requires to increase the pace of these efforts.

That being said, it is clear that the influencers are the first beneficiaries of the change and usually have more opportunities to experiment, get feedback from their followers, and connect directly with our consumers.

This will put us before a first great decision: to build our communication in a “influencer type” sense and to develop the production capacities that it requires or to generate effective alliances with opinion leaders that resonate among our audience.

In both cases there is the challenge of building more extensive stories, where our product or service has a clear role in the narrative and is not only a mention that could well live in videos of less than 15 seconds.

Source: Instagram

The first step in evolution.

It will also be interesting to evaluate the performance that IGTV delivers to its parent company, Facebook, since previous efforts to compete with YouTube which have not been very effective.

The difference on this occasion is that influencers are already managing to monetize through sponsorships on the platform, users are younger than the ones on Facebook and their consumption habits and content creation could favor the consolidation of the second most important video platform in non-instantaneous formats.

It also remains to see what kind of metrics this technology will deliver to content creators and their advertisers. We know that our followers usually consume only the first seconds of most of our pieces, so having versatility in the handling of data will allow us to make better decisions for the conformation of the digital ecosystem and the budget of our brands.

And although at times it seems that the pace of the platforms is impossible to follow, the best strategy that we usually recommend to our clients at Agencia Marte is to keep our eyes open and find the right way and time to enter, following the principle of maximum simplicity: subtract the obvious and add to our digital ecosystem only that which is significant for the relationship of our consumers with the brand.

Marcelo Torres Llamas.
VP Digital Strategy