Instagram TV & Facebook Watch

This month, both Facebook and Instagram (and let’s not forget Facebook now own Instagram) have announced new video features for users to interact with on their sites.

Why? Because Facebook and Instagram are the New TV.

In 2019, Zenith, one of the largest media agencies in the UK, predicts internet use will outpace time spent watching TV globally. This supports the idea of having increased amounts of video content – to fill the time spent online. And this is why Facebook and Instagram are launching into this space.

While TV is still the main destination for video at the moment, there are various options for viewing it on other platforms as most people have a “Smart TV” in their homes. People are more likely to view TV shows after they have been aired through online platforms such as YouTube, Hulu, etc.

These online platforms replace TV as a sole destination for viewing video content. YouTube alone, which is one of the biggest platforms for video consumption, receives 1.8 billion users signed in each month, while Netflix has 125 million subscribers.

Interestingly, a new report out by Ofcom has found that more people are watching movies and TV shows through online streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and other services, than through traditional satellite and cable TV. Online streaming is officially more popular than pay-TV for the first time ever as the number of subscribers for websites ihas hit 15.4 billion in the first 3 months of 2018!

Ofcom’s chief executive, said:

“Today’s research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for UK television. We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programmes by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants. These challenges cannot be underestimated.”

And Facebook Watch and IGTV want a slice of the action…

Facebook announced it would launch news shows, earlier this June, within Facebook Watch. This is the site’s video service that features original programming, both pre-recorded and live.

It has also introduced a heap of new services for audiences and video hosts. Some of these features include:

  • Real Time Polling
  • Game-show-style Q&A filters
  • Reacting to live videos

The next day, Instagram, revealed IGTV! Instagram stated it is “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.”

Instagram TV is available as its own separate app. However, it is available on the Instagram app as an easily accessible application. By downloading the latest version of the app, there will be a small icon in the top right corner next to the DM’s.

Facebook announced a major algorithm change in January. The algorithm changed the focus of content posted to show more content from friends and family. Also, live video, specifically, receives 6X the engagement as a pre-recorded video. This possibly explains the new emphasis on real-time interaction with creators.

The Benefits For Your Brand

There are a various video ideas you could test out and see how they work with your brand’s audience. This can include:

  • Behind the Scenes – Give your Instagram followers a behind the scenes tour of what’s happening at your business. It helps to humanize your brand and give your followers an ‘all access’ view of how your business operates
  • FAQ Sessions – Record an FAQ session in which you answer the questions of your customers/clients on video. This is extremely helpful for your users and it’s in an easily digestible format.
  • Interviews – Host interviews with important people at your company or even within your industry.
  • Product Demos – This allows your users to get an up-close view of how your products and services can benefit them.
  • VloggingConsider releasing a weekly/monthly segment so that your followers grow accustomed to expecting it. Make these segments are something that can capture and keep your audience’s attention so that it’s worth the time spent producing it.

Instagram TV is an extremely new platform so it all comes down to is taking some time to understand your brand’s audience. By trying out different content ideas and keeping an eye on your analytics you will be able to optimise your content for IGTV in no time.

Video Content has risen a sufficient amount in the last year and is becoming a huge part of our day-to-day social media content. Instagram TV and Facebook Watch provide a new platform to help fill the gap of time spent online, by filling it with video content. Watch out YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are coming for you!