With Instagram’s recent announcement that they will be introducing horizontal video formats to its IGTV platform, we are growing more and more excited by the prospect of what game-changing content will now be integrated within users feeds. As long-time believers in the influence of Instagram for both business and social media, even we were a little skeptical of the vertical-only limitations assigned to IGTV when it launched — so to say that we’re thrilled with the updates is an understatement.
Now that users can watch long-format IGTV content directly in their main IG feed (as mentioned in our previous blog), we predict that this ease of accessibility to creators’ horizontal and vertical content will be just the right boost the platform needs to reach a wider audience. However, this isn’t to say that IGTV is perfect yet, as concerns with the lack of monetization from content still need to be addressed.
Despite this, we’ll discuss 3 different creators who have already embraced the horizontal format in IGTV and why it may work for both influencers and brands looking to harness the might of IG’s mammoth following.
Rising to prominence on Twitter’s now-defunct Vine app, Nash Grier is an online personality, entertainer and influencer whose reach across social media platforms has had no boundaries.
Whether it’s through his YouTube or IG content, Grier has amassed a loyal fanbase that has followed his career since he was a teenager. As someone who completely understands the power of short-form viral video content, he was an early adopter of IGTV. With 10 million followers, some of his videos have been watched up to 500,000 times and counting.
Photo credit: Nash Grier
What seems to motivate Grier to turn things askew is the potential for extra information that can be expressed with a wide-screen aesthetic. In one post, he captures his brother throwing around a football in a slick video complete with panorama drone-footage. In another, he joins his girlfriend in a yoga tutorial that makes full use of the wider aspect ratio and in another, he shaves his head for charity – one of many philanthropical acts he shares that could have earned him a place on our influencer’s who inspire social change list.
The horizontal format tends to work better for these posts because the movement within the frame that would usually be limited by the width of vertical shooting is allowed to unfold in all its glory. This seems to be the main drawing point for the horizontal format and why Nash Grier clearly refused to fold to the rules – a wider screen means a deeper immersion into the content.
A former model, lifestyle blogger, and influencer, Germany-based Carmen Kroll has drawn in a following of users who tune in to her advice on everything for fashion and beauty tips to travel daily. For the last five years, her fans have watched not only her popularity flourish but the love between her and long-time sweetheart Niclas Kroll.
That’s why when she and Niclas were married in May 2019, they spared no expense in capturing the romance of the day in a wedding video that was nothing short of pure cinema. By incorporating shots that would be enough to win Hitchcock’s approval, Carmen teamed with Kreativ Wedding to share the pinnacle of her long followed romance in a way her fans would truly appreciate.
There is no doubt that this video needed to be shown in a horizontal format, as there would simply be too much missed by both Carmen and Kreativ Wedding having to crop out the majority of the footage. By letting the imaginations of advertisers and creators flourish unrestricted and providing them with an instantaneous scroll-through platform that YouTube can’t offer, the potential for brand and influencer collaboration with IGTV is just getting started.
And by the way – the ‘Rotate Screen’ notification you see at the start of the video? That will be a thing of the past, as IG has announced that users can simply rotate their phones to open horizontal playback.
With over 16 million followers worldwide, Italian fashion blogger and the creator of a small empire of beauty and fashion products, Chiara Ferragni’s popularity is growing rapidly with no signs of slowing down. She has been creating IGTV content since its launch, using it to offer fashion tips, lifestyle advice and a view into her private life, including a tour of her beautiful home to behind the scenes footage of her wedding dress’ creation.
Photo credit: Chiara Ferragni
But even this long-time vertical shooting content creator couldn’t resist rotating her phone to exhibit the highlights of her Beauty Bites Masterclass in Milan. As both a recap of the event and a potential promotional video for future events, the video is an exciting, dynamic offering that pairs perfectly within the rest of her IG content. By paying tribute to both followers and sponsors alike, Ferragni’s post has captured the excitement of the day in a way that feels uniquely Instagram but without the time and format restrictions.
It’s worth mentioning that although a number of the event’s sponsors were included in the post, there is yet to be a way for creators to monetize their IGTV content. In saying that, the wider capabilities of posting has made it so that influencers no longer have to tailor make content for IGTV alone, but can re-purpose other content like their YouTube videos.
Although it is not ideal, it is the first step toward engaging both a wider audience for the platform as well as enticing more creators to share. Only time will tell when IG will unroll monetization features, but knowing IG, it will surely follow soon. For the time being, we don’t see any harm in getting in ahead of the curve, do you?