IGTV looked like it had one foot in the grave almost since the day it launched. Suffering from low viewership and a lack of content, the platform failed to truly pick up steam. Even IGTV's celebrity and influencer launch partners only produced an average of 5 videos prior to abandoning the platform.
But, in the last week, something interesting happened. IGTV's views suddenly took a sharp turn upward, averaging between a 300-1000% increase across many popular channels.
So, What Changed?
This uptick in viewership was thanks in no small part to Instagram's latest update to IGTV. About a week ago, Instagram announced that users would soon start to see short IGTV previews start to pop up in their main feeds. Users will be able to tap the preview to continue to watch the full video in IGTV.
If you choose to share a preview to the Instagram feed, your video will also appear in your profile, marked with a tiny IGTV icon in the top right corner to signify where it comes from.
Now, if you make a video on IGTV, you don't necessarily have to share it to your profile. While sharing your video to the feed can certainly help you get more views, some users will likely opt out simply due to aesthetic preferences. Because the video also appears on your profile, you'll want to make sure it looks cohesive (both in terms of imagery and caption) with the rest of your content. Otherwise it just looks out of place.
With that being said, there are few reasons why you wouldn't want to take advantage of this new Instagram/IGTV integration. With Instagram users still lukewarm toward the vertical-video-sharing platform, the best way to get more eyes on your content is to share it where people are more likely to see it.
Wait, is IGTV Good Now?
Hold your horses. The would-be competitor to the video-viewing giant, Youtube, still has a way to go before it can really hang with the big boys of video content. After all, even with the new changes, IGTV is still struggling to attract popular content creators due to its lack of monetization options.
The thing that makes IGTV unique is also what makes it a hard sell to content creators. IGTV's vertical format is perfect for on-the-go mobile viewing. However, because YouTube still rules the roost, most content creators, influencers, and brands tend to shoot their views horizontally. While you can still upload a horizontal video to IGTV, it's not ideal, so, that forces IGTV users to create all new content specifically for the platform. Without high returns in the form of monetization options or user engagement, it just doesn't seem worth the hassle.
That may, however, be changing.
It's clear that the folks over at Instagram HQ aren't ready to take IGTV off life support, and they're doing what they can to revive interest in the video-sharing platform. I have a feeling that we'll continue to see updates and changes designed to make users more likely to both view and create new content.
Should You Give IGTV Another Chance?
Whether you're building a personal brand or repping a product, if you haven't already, now's the time to start getting your feet wet and experimenting with IGTV. When it comes to social media, it pays to be an early adopter. You'll always have a tough time getting noticed when the market is already saturated. If, however, you jump in while everyone else is still hemming and hawing about whether or not it's worth their time, you'll be busy racking up new viewers and getting a head start on mastering the platform.
Besides, nothing worth getting is easily gotten. You don't always see immediate returns on your efforts, but that doesn't mean it won't pay off in the long run. Anyone who's gotten even a taste of success will tell you that they had to work without recognition or reward for a long time before they struck gold.
So, I guess if you're looking for the easy road, you can skip IGTV. If, on the other hand, you don't mind putting in the work for a chance at success, then give it a shot.