Instagram is one of the trendiest social media platforms across the globe now, with about 1.2 billion users worldwide. Due to the avid users, Instagram has been improving their in-app features regularly to keep their users absorbed. Besides the regular in-feed photo posting, Instagram has come up with video sharing features starting from Instagram Video, IGTV, and recently Instagram Reels. If you are a content creator or a business owner, you might wonder what differences do these video features have and which has the most benefit and impact?
Before we jump to the conclusion, let’s start by breaking down all the features and understand what each video feature offers and what they are suitable for.
The first video feature that Instagram introduced was the typical Instagram Video. When it first launched, many users were intrigued by it as it was a new yet better way to create and share content.
1. It is more engaging than Instagram Photos.
There is no doubt that Instagram Video could offer a higher engagement from the audience because videos tell better stories as compared to photos. Instagram Video allows your audience to get to know more about you or your brand as there are visual movements that pull your followers close. It encourages conversation between the user and the audience and from a branding perspective, it could potentially lead to an elevation in conversion rates for the brand.
2. Easier information transfer
It is usually easier to transfer and share information with speech compared to text. Video formats capture your audiences’ attention as there’s more lively interaction since realistically, many users do not have the attention span to read through a long caption on an Instagram photo posting. Instagram Video would be the right choice to conduct product demonstrations and expose your personal brand to your audience.
1. Limited to 60 Seconds of Playback
Instagram Videos may be a great way to tell a story. However, with a limitation of up to 60 seconds of playback, you would be required to keep your content short and impactful at the same time. This could be a challenge if you or a brand have plenty of information to release in one go and with this, we would highly encourage using IGTV for additional playback length.
2. There are no in-app video editing features
For users who are not familiar with editing an Instagram Video, this deprivation could come off as a disadvantage. Users would be required to edit their videos using other video editing apps or software as compared to the Instagram Reels where there are in-app editing features included. However, if you or your brand emphasize plentifully on quality visuals, editing with a proper video editing software would be a better alternative as there would be more freedom in editing styles.
3. There is no pause or rewind feature
Due to its limited playback length, Instagram did not include a pause button or the ability to rewind the video. This could be bothersome since you can only wait until the video has ended, only to rewatch it all over again unlike the IGTV where you can click pause and continue where you left off.
Instagram TV or IGTV
The IGTV was launched in June 2018 and it appeared as a stand-alone app, completely separated from the actual Instagram app but eventually was combined within the Instagram app. However, users are still able to access the stand-alone IGTV app and it acts as a substitute for YouTube.
1. 15 minutes to 1-hour length of Video Playback
This is one of the main highlights of IGTV whereby the video length has been extended tremendously compared to the original Instagram Video. With the new playback length, users are able to create short films without feeling restricted. As for branding purposes, IGTV is a great way to form a soft-sell approach on their products or services yet sending their message across to their audiences.
2. Horizontal and Vertical Formats
IGTV has the flexibility when it comes to the viewing formats and users are able to make a choice based on their preferences. However, it is highly recommended to select the vertical format as it gives a better viewing experience. As compared to Instagram Videos, the video would be automatically cropped if it was filmed in a vertical format and the users would not be able to view the big picture.
3. Create a Video Series
Similar to YouTube, IGTV gives users the option to create multiple series on their channel. This helps to keep the content organized according to your own customized theme, and your viewers can navigate freely around your channel. This is great for brands who have multiple products or services as you can set your video series according to your different target audience.
1. You might lose engagement from your audience
Since the IGTV’s playback length is much longer than the typical Instagram Video, your audience might not watch your content to the very end. Especially in this millennial age where plenty of users are generally fast-paced with short attention spans. Therefore, to keep your audience engaged in your video, your content has to be eye-catching and creative.
2. There are no in-app video editing features
Similar to the Instagram Video, there are no in-app video editing features for the IGTV as well. So, again you would need to use other apps or software to edit your video. On the bright side, the production and editing quality is all in your own favor.
Now let’s talk about the latest enhancement on Instagram, the Instagram Reel which is technically a clone of TikTok. Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels allows you to capture short videos from 15 seconds up to 30 seconds.
1. Extremely engaging
There is no doubt that Instagram Reels is one of the most popular and engaging features on Instagram at the moment due to the short playback time, it is able to capture anyone’s attention from whichever generation. With a playback of 15 to 30 seconds, users can swipe through the unlimited content in a short time. Users are able to join or create new trends easily since creating content becomes simpler and quicker. If you are always in a rush but love to absorb creative content, Instagram Reels would definitely be your cup of tea.
2. Effortless way to gain followers and likes
Since this feature is considered fresh and new on Instagram, you are able to quickly gain views, likes, and new followers. This is because Instagram Reels is not as saturated with creators as compared to those in TikTok, which makes it much easier to get yourself discovered and in the limelight.
3. There are in-app video editing features
Compared with Instagram Video or IGTV, Instagram finally included an in-app video editing feature for Instagram Reels. You are able to arrange your video clips accordingly, include texts, add in your favorite music from their wide-ranged music library, and experiment with different filters that can enhance your content.
1. Playback could be too short
With a playback time of up to 30 seconds, it could honestly be too short to share a proper story or allow your followers to get to know you. Personally, at times, it could get frustrating when you realize you have hit the time limit before you could include the main highlight of your content. However, Instagram Reels is definitely meant for something short and sweet. If you are looking to tell an in-depth story, it’s recommended to use Instagram Video or IGTV.
Now that we have explained the pros and cons of these three distinct features of Instagram, the final verdict on which feature is better highly depends on you as a creator. With a busy schedule, I personally would opt for Instagram Reels as it is easy and quick to create fresh content while getting organic reach at the same time. But the choice is yours and with different options, you are able to tell different stories with your audience and decide what sort of adventure you would like to take them with your creative content.