IGTV, Instagram's long-form video-sharing feature, has launched its in-roll ads feature. According to an announcement from Instagram, IGTV ads will first appear when users click to watch a full IGTV video after clicking from a preview in their feed. The ads will be built for mobile and can be up to 15 seconds long. Instagram says they will test different ad experiences throughout the year, including the ability to skip an ad.
Here's a look at the user experience:
Initially, Instagram reached out to a select group of creators in March 2020 to participate in the first tests of in-stream ads in their IGTV videos. Creators will receive a 55% share of all advertising via IGTV, which is the same split found on YouTube.
Ads within IGTV could be a game changer for influencers and creators who already make income from YouTube and Facebook's monetization programs. Since Instagram has over one billion active users, creators would be able to reach new audiences though IGTV while still building loyalty with their established followers on the platform. The monetization option could also give them incentive to move off of major competitors like YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat if the revenue is fruitful enough. IGTV videos can be up to one hour in duration.
The rollout of IGTV ads comes at a pivotal moment for creators, who have had to adjust to a new way of life online since the COVID-19 pandemic. Instagram says they had a 70% increase in live views from February to March of this year. To help influencers, creators, and artists during this time, the network is testing out the use of badges, or virtual monetary tokens, users can give to creators during live streams. In turn, their comments are displayed more prominently.
An example of badges given out during a live stream, from Instagram.
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