Last year, Instagram announced IGTV — a new featured designed to deliver longform content from Instagram creators, influencers and brands.
Designed to be set apart from certain other online video platforms (including Facebook’s own video feature), IGTV initially made integrated video: it retained the format of Instagram Stories and vertical video a key part of its announcement.
“You could create hour-long episodes of a long-term series, or use Instagram TV as an extension of your standard Instagram profile,” wrote Rebekah Carter at SproutSocial after the announcement.
All of that remains true, but now brands can use IGTV to publish horizontal video. The change was in response to requests from content creators, according to Instagram:
“We’ve learned and grown a lot in this first year. In meeting with creators and viewers, we’ve heard about what they like – and what needs to be improved. Today marks yet another change for IGTV – and it once again comes from listening to our creators and viewers. We’ve heard from creators who want to upload landscape videos for IGTV. Similarly, we’ve heard from viewers who come across landscape videos in IGTV but want to watch them in a more natural way. That’s why we’re announcing support for landscape videos in addition to vertical. Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want.”
In and of itself, the move isn’t a huge one. But some advertisers think that it could be the first step toward monetizing that particular channel of Instagram. And AdAge reports that several advertising executives told them that they have been approached by Instagram about advertising on IGTV.
“The theory is that IGTV’s support for landscape mode will yield a bumper crop of diverse new content, and, by extension, a lift in viewing,” writes Todd Spangler at Variety.
Including horizontal video on the platform certainly makes it more ad-friendly and budget friendly. Up until now, many media companies had to create content specific to Instagram’s platform. With the new change, IGTV can simply become another channel by which to share video — and soon, ad creatives.