INSTASNAPS OF THE MONTH
INSTAGRAM READY TO TAKE ON YOUTUBE WITH IGTV
After a history of getting inspired from other social networks to perfect its service [mainly Snapchat-inspired stories and Twitter-inspired polls], Instagram is ready to take on video-sharing giant Youtube with its latest feature: IGTV. Officially announced on June 20, IGTV allows users to upload longer-form videos up to one hour in length to the platform, with far larger possibilities than Instagram’s standard 1-minute video post limit. On the technical side, the feature is accessible directly from its added top right icon on the Instagram home screen, and users can view uploaded videos by swiping through them just like they would do with stories. “We’re evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic,” the Instagram Business blog read “We’ve also learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.” Through these longer videos, Instagram hope to cater for the needs of the ever-evolving online community and allow deeper story telling for both individuals and brands. Business wise, IGTV can be used by brands to weave stronger connections with potential customers by offering them a glimpse into wider dimensions their services without being confined to a certain type of content or restrictive length.
Are ‘Virtual Influencers’ the next big thing on Instagram?
After influencers took over Instagram and digital marketing strategies over the past few years, it looks like the new wave of influencers no longer even have to be human [yes, you read that right!]. Computer-generated models are totally a thing at this point in social media, and here are the leading names to watch who have started it all:
t -JM .JRVFMB <!MJMNJRVFMB> after initially rising to fame in April 2016, this digital simulation mainly after people began wondering whether she is a real person or a marketing stunt. So far, Lil Miquela has amassed over 1.3 million followers on Instagram, released songs, launched clothing/jewelry lines, attracted brand collaborations and even appeared on the covers of some magazines. All of this is just a small overview of how impactful [and lucrative] a virtual influencer can be. Earlier this year, Lil Miquela’s creator mystery was revealed after La-based startup Brud, led by Trevor Mcfredries outed itself as the actual company behind her [or shall we say it?], racking up millions from from Silicon Valley investors because of it.
t 4IVEV <TIVEV HSBN> More recently, a new virtual influencer called Shudu emerged on the scene and currently boasts 128k followers on Instagram. Looking a bit more realistic than Lil Miquela, the virtual supermodel was created by British photographer Cameron-james Wilson. “With Shudu, people are very impressed with the level of realism, which hasn’t really been seen before,” Wilson told JWT Intelligence in an interview. Shudu is also getting attention from brands such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has been even replying to fans just like a human would.
The phenomenon of virtual influencers echoes our growing fascination with the unreal after years of using social media and Instagram in particular, as rightfully pointed out by JWT Intelligence, which recently explored the trend in its “Unreality” trend report that reflected on how people are turning to the unknown to search for a new form of truth/meaning.