Earlier today, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom took to the social media company’s Info Center to announce two major updates: 1. The photo-sharing app, launched in 2010, had officially reached 1 billion global users, and. 2. Instagram would now be offering IGTV, “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators”, that will be offered as both a separate application as well as have the ability to be streamed within the user’s normal Instagram feed.
Unlike YouTube and other sites that utilize video sharing and streaming, the videos are full-screen and vertical to simulate how you would actually hold your phone. Although video has been available on the platform previously, the limited length of just one minute has been expanded to up to one hour. As the name of IGTV suggests, programming will begin immediately and users can swipe to discover content from both creators they follow and those they do not. Users can also comment and send videos to friends via Direct Message. And just like the users on Instagram, those on IGTV can easily create their own “channel” and start building a follower base instantaneously.
As an independent restaurant owner, this update can open up a variety of new possibilities for your in-house marketing efforts. Instagram already lends itself to the foodie culture with restaurant and culinary-themed hashtags, location tagging and an overall desire to share one’s delicious meals with friends and prospective customers. By embracing IGTV, your staff can create content for upcoming events, interview new staff members, offer a behind-the-scenes look at favorite dishes and much more. You can also encourage customers to send in content about their favorite experiences at your restaurant.
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