Marketing Manager


One Small Step for Instagram, One Giant Leap for Vertical Video


On Wednesday, Instagram debuted IGTV, a new long-form, vertical video platform lead by content creators to rival Snapchat and YouTube.

This is a new avenue of potential advertising revenue for the popular platform as Instagram’s announced that total revenue will top $22 billion in 2020 for the platform or about one-quarter of Facebook’s total forecasted advertising sales for that year.

Instagram seems to be following in the footsteps of Snapchat and YouTube in an effort to corner younger users. Stats release on Friday says users under 25 spent more than 32 minutes a day on the Instagram app and that those 25 and older spent more than 24 minutes a day. 


Who Should Be Worried

After Instagram Stories launched Snapchat’s growth slowed by 82%. After Instagram Stories hit 250 million active daily users (50% more than daily users of Snapchat at the time), shares of Snap fell 3.4%. With the launch of long-form, influencer driven IGTV, we can expect more bad news for Snapchat.

With the introduction of IGTV, Instagram is leveraging its heavily-visual vertical videos to lay claim to a long-form, content-creator market.

Traditionally visual-heavy influencers will feel the pinch to diversify their content streams and to create engaging long-form content for IGTV if they hope to keep up with other content creators migrating from platforms like YouTube.


Major Shake Ups

Viewing intention. YouTube is a platform built around search intention while IGTV states the primary intention is the discovery of content from creators you follow, topics you follow, or posts you interact with. 

Vertical versus horizontal. The vertical video is designed for optimal viewing on mobile devices which opens up new creative opportunities for those who create content using a mobile device. 

Entertainment. YouTube cornered the how-to market with a plethora of tutorials, Snapchat cornered the authenticity of low-fi antics. Will Instagram become a platform for self-expression and entertainment? 


Who Did It Best

@selenagomez Over the weekend, she debuted a short horror film excerpt directed by Petra Collins (769k followers) and the full film is expected to debut on IGTV later this month. 


Considerations for Content Creators

  • Create episodic content to pull in regular viewers. High engagement rates from video to video will make you more enticing for advertisers.

  • Brands should partner with creators. To consistently deliver high-quality content, partner with content creators who specialize in quick quality content. 

  • Get creative with vertical video. Don’t just upload an existing horizontal video and hope it works—be creative!

  • Develop a clear IGTV strategy. Clearly define why and how your brand intends to use IGTV over the likes of YouTube or Facebook. 

Anastasia Garcia