Why Aren't Regional Vloggers Embracing IGTV?
It's been almost two months since Instagram launched IGTV.
The hotly-anticipated video-sharing platform boasts a reach of 800 million monthly users and 500 million daily users.
Creators are now able to upload ten minutes of vertically-shot video content to the platform (or sixty minutes, if they're verified users), before sharing it with their Instagram audience.
Considering many YouTube creators have huge followings on Instagram, it's a no-brainer to assume that many would be eager to make the most of the new video-sharing platform.
However, many content creators in the GCC region (and beyond) have been apprehensive of jumping on the IGTV bandwagon.
Surprised? So were we.
If there's huge potential, shouldn't we be seeing higher rates of creators and influencers making video content for IGTV?
We chatted with a few well-known content creators based in the GCC to find out why there aren't more vloggers and bloggers making the most of the new platform.
Creators Share Their Thoughts On IGTV
“I think, generally, if [Instagram] monetizes IGTV more creators could make videos and put budgets into them.”
YouTube sensation MoVlogs (@mo_vlogs_) thinks if Instagram could find a way to monetize IGTV content, more video creators might be interested in making the most of the platform.
“I think, generally, if [Instagram] monetizes IGTV more creators could make videos and put budgets into them,” he said.
Instagram has yet to officially announce plans for a creator partnership program that could rival YouTube's partnership program. According to Social Media Today no advertising options are available, but Instagram says it "eventually plans to make sure popular video creators are able to make money from their efforts."
This means, at the present moment, there's no way for creators to monetize IGTV content with pre-roll advertisements.
Considering many video creators make full-time livings off uploading their content to YouTube, it's understandable why many are shying away from putting IGTV on the front burner.
"IGTV requires new content that viewers won't see anywhere else." - Nina Ubhi, Professional Makeup Artist and Content Creator
Dubai-based professional makeup artist, entrepreneur, and content creator Nina Ubhi (@ninaubhi) also is apprehensive of IGTV and the amount of time she can devote to the new platform.
Ubhi has over three years of experience uploading makeup tutorials and product reviews to her YouTube channel, and is no stranger to sharing video content with her audience on Instagram.
While she has recently uploaded two tutorials to her IGTV channel, Ubhi has concerns about budgeting time for yet another video-sharing platform.
“It’s not something I’m as excited about because it’s already so time-consuming to create content for Instagram posts, Stories, and YouTube,” she said.
“There is no point uploading content that I already have on my IG feed and YouTube, so IGTV requires new content that viewers won't see anywhere else. Plus I can save IG story tutorials to highlights, so I can’t even really upload those as an IGTV video.”
While some creators have started re-uploading their YouTube videos to their IGTV channels, the platform is optimized for vertically-shot content.
Before IGTV's launch most creators never entertained the idea of filming high-quality long-form video content in "portrait mode" (unless they were filming Stories). In the past, they always shot their digital content horizontally.
Now, if creators want to make the most of IGTV they'll need to alter their filming style - and tailor it specifically to the platform.
"I think they should have rolled it out in stages." - Emkwan, YouTube Content Creator
Tech vlogger and social media influencer Emkwan (@emkwan) said he was initially excited about the idea of IGTV, but thinks the idea is “better in theory.”
“There are a couple of things that I realized about IGTV that are limiting to me as a content creator, and when it comes to how much time I'm going to focus on it,” he said.
Emkwan feels the new platform isn’t easily accessible within Instagram's original app (although he does note users are able to download a separate IGTV app, where they can quickly access IGTV content).
"It's so buried within the Instagram app. Yes, you can download another app... but it's just an additional sort of level. If you look at what Instagram has done with Stories - that's been incredibly popular, both from a content creator's perspective, but also as a user," he said.
"It's there on the home tab. It's visible right at the top. You're much more likely to engage with it as you land on the app than you are with [features] that are buried."
Emkwan thinks this could potentially lead to a decrease in video views and content being found by an audience - which is disheartening, especially for creators starting out.
After all, if a viewer can't easily find the content they want to watch, they're more likely to leave the app and search for content elsewhere (i.e. YouTube).
Like many other people who work in content creation and influencer marketing, Emkwan also touched on IGTV's lack of partnership programs and monetization options.
“I am based, predominantly. on YouTube. So for me to limit the amount of time I am putting into YouTube . . . could [be risky]."
Many YouTubers rely on income from the partner program, so it's understandable why some aren't keen to divvy up their time between two different platforms - especially when one has no way of potentially guaranteeing an income.
"I experimented with IGTV. I put up three episodes: two vlogs, and a semi-unboxing video. The views were good, but the engagement wasn't there. It didn't feel like something I needed to put more energy and effort into, in its current form."
It will be interesting to see if, in the coming months, Instagram alters IGTV's features to make it more "creator-friendly."
Watch this space for more IGTV news.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.