THE IG TV PERSPECTIVE
Instagram is a platform where we all go to paint a portrait of ourselves, of our everyday lives, for our friends and other users to see. Through the pictures we post, we aim to show off our personalities, interests and stories. It is a creative outlet in that it allows us to tell these stories through artistic mediums – photography and video.
I think that everybody, in one way or another, feels the urge to create. Posting on Instagram is one easy way to do this. It’s cathartic for some. Getting feedback via likes and comments, and even sharing other people’s posts with friends is fun, and can absolutely be seen as a means of expressing oneself. Whether we are creating our own stories for the world to see, or engaging and interacting with other people’s, when we log onto Instagram we become a part of a larger community of creators.
WHAT IS IG TV?
On June 20th, Instagram launched a new sector of the platform that has once again expanded this process of expression. This is an ever present goal that this company excels in reaching time and again. In the past couple of years we have seen Instagram keep up with its competitors, like Facebook and Snapchat, by implementing new features that keep current users interested and also draw in new ones. With 1 billion users now on the app, Instagram has launched their newest invention: Instagram Television (or IGTV for short). Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, said at the launch party that “it’s time for video to move forward, and evolve. IGTV is for watching long-from videos from your favorite creators.”
The feature allows users to post up to hour long videos, and upon its release was said to be aimed, thus far, at creators: personalities made popular predominantly via Instagram and the Internet. Think of the Instagram influencers you’ve grown to know and love strictly through their social feeds. It’s these creators who Instagram had in mind when creating the new feature. IGTV will spotlight videos posted by Instagram celebrities who you, as an individual user, are already familiar with and following. It also suggests videos by IG celebs who you might like, or whose posts are trending.
Although the feature was launched with the intent for IG creators to take the front seat, anyone can create a channel and start posting content for everyone to see. So even if you aren’t Instagram famous yet, you can still utilize this tool to show your stuff to the world wide web! Now that we have the aptitude to post longer videos, this means more content, more congruence and of course, more to learn from and engage with.
MORE CONTENT, MORE PERSPECTIVE
I believe IGTV is a forward thinking feature that will benefit both creators and viewers in many ways. One of the reasons we choose to follow certain creators over others is because they are making things we find inspirational and may even want to mimic. Behind the scenes looks into the lives of the creators themselves is one use for IGTV that could set it apart. One way to share your work it to tell others, teach them even, how it’s made. How you engineered this, discovered that or pulled x, y and z off with what seemed like such ease.
Most of the time, all an audience gets is a look at the final product. But sometimes, all the work that went into the piece is equally as interesting. I’m on the lookout for IGTV channels that will help me expand my own art, interests, and know-how by giving me glimpses of what it’s like to spend an hour in someone else’s shoes. Perspective is everything and in my mind, the more the merrier.
Some people have contemplated whether or not IGTV will become the new YouTube. In many ways the two are similar, however, they still have their fair share of differences. IGTV is made for vertical video and so far, is only available for mobile use. That, plus the hour long maximum, leads me to believe that IGTV will not render YouTube obsolete. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as successful. One creator, Marques Brownlee, said that “YouTube, for me, is the primary platform. So that’s the most polished content, the final, finished version of everything … I feel like a lot of the behind-the-scenes [content from] the video production that I do [for] YouTube can end up on other platforms, like Twitter or Instagram.”
So perhaps the two platforms will end up complementing one another more than they will compete. This is good news for everyone! I’ll say it again: I believe the more platforms there are on which we can invent, connect and broadcast our personal narratives and transmit our creativity the better!