SO another day, another Instagram feature. When IG's newest "IGTV" came out, I was honestly kind of pissed. While I love content creating for a living, it wouldn't be truthful for me to say that I don't pay attention to algorithms/analytics and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to guess that ignoring such a huge change to this platform will probably hurt in the long run. I chatted with my IG followers in my stories/did a few polls and wanted to share my overall thoughts now that I've uploaded my first vertical video to IGTV.
1. Vertical video sucks. Okay - so maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I feel like so much of the overall feeling of film gets taken away when the viewpoint is that narrow in a portrait aspect ratio. Sure, I could just rotate my landscape video or triple the landscape video to fit (I've seen a bunch of big brands do this), but I don't think that's the point of what this new platform is trying to achieve and I was up for following the rules for my first try. Another thing I'd like to add is that the video requirements say that the aspect ratio is 9:16, but it really isn't! I edited my video to fit these requirements and yet the sides of my video seem to be cut off once uploaded.
2. An hour long video in vertical? No thanks. Swiping through IG story videos is one thing, but I can't really see myself wanting to watch a lengthy video in vertical (which is why I don't prefer to watch or do Instagram lives). Perhaps it's years of conditioning, but I naturally find myself tilting my screen to the side to watch videos so I can watch them in full-screen. I get that IGTV's vertical video is technically full-screen, but the whole thing still feels cropped in an off-putting way, in my opinion.
3. Most of my followers have no idea what it is and if they do know, they hate it. After doing a poll, reading through my inbox, and chatting with a few other influencers, I got the impression that audience and creator alike are both extremely overwhelmed and irritated with this change. YouTube has been at the forefront for video creators for the longest time, and while it totally makes sense that someone wants to provide where YouTube has been lacking lately, I don't think any one wanted the "new version of YouTube we were all hoping for" to come from Instagram. From algorithms to IG lives to stories to highlights, keeping up with this one app that used to just be a place to post/enjoy an instant photo has become increasingly difficult and complicated now that it's become such an effective business/sales tool.
4. Regurgitated content seems to be common. I wasn't one of the accounts to take to IGTV right away because I was curious to see what I was getting into before I tried it out, and I noticed that a lot of videos were taken and uploaded right off YouTube. For a second I thought of maybe putting a few of my short YouTube videos on there, but then I started thinking... what incentive would my IG followers have to watch my YouTube content if I'm just posting it in IGTV (apart from the aspect ratio issue)? The more I started thinking, the more I started to stress myself out over what kind of content would I even put in my IGTV if it's not content that I would normally put on YouTube? A bunch of my followers suggested more casual phone-filmed content, but I noticed that the video quality isn't that ideal and wanted to refrain from resorting to that for my first try. I might have to attempt a phone-filmed video and go from there.
5. My final thoughts... After reading through this blog post, my thoughts might be coming across as a enormous rant, but all in all, I think IGTV is interesting so far. While I don't LOVE the fact that it's another thing to keep up with in Instagram, I also have to admit that not all of my IG followers watch my YouTube videos and not all of my YouTube subscribers follow me on IG. I find myself answering a lot of the same questions because the information is somewhere NOT on Instagram, so it is kind of nice to have it connected and easy to reference.
What do you think of IGTV? Do you love it? Hate it? I think it's too soon to tell what its potential might be, but I'm willing to try it out for now.