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Instagram Launches IGTV in Bid to Compete with YouTube
Instagram recently launched IGTV that will be made available as both a standalone app as well as a feature within the Instagram app.
11:45 23 July 2018
In the IGTV platform content creators will be able to upload longer videos, and it positions Instagram to compete head-on with YouTube.
Dedicated Platform for Long-Form, Vertical Videos
Prior to IGTV, Instagram has had a strict 60-second limit for video content having raised it from the previous 15-second limit. In IGTV however content creators will be able to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes instead, with select users being able to upload videos that are up to 60 minutes long.
Unlike most other video platforms, IGTV is built for mobile phone users first and foremost and as such it displays full-screen vertical videos. It is designed to be simple, and will start playing videos as soon as the app is launched just like a TV would.
The videos that users view will be from creators that they follow, and can be browsed by swiping left or right. Using machine learning IGTV will study users’ interests, and recommend other creators that line up with their preferred content.
Although rumors had previously suggested that Instagram would be increasing its 60-second limit for videos across its entire platform, it opted to create a dedicated platform in the form of IGTV instead. The reason for that is to set it apart from the Instagram Feed and provide a dedicated area for long-form content that won’t slow down the main Feed.
Set to Challenge YouTube
Questions are also being raised about IGTV’s ‘Discovery’ feature and how effective it will be for creators to disseminate content using it. In contrast YouTube’s search is tried and tested, and creators know what to expect from it.
For now IGTV does not have any advertisements, but Instagram has conceded that ad revenue shares are a reasonable model that it may implement in the future. Unlike Facebook Watch, IGTV will not be paying creators directly to produce videos and will require some other way to provide monetization.
As of right now, the only way creators can monetize their content is by sharing links in IGTV to advertise brands that they strike deals with privately.
One interesting development since it launched however involves artists using IGTV to distribute music. The reach of Instagram coupled with its other types of content such as Instagram Stories makes it an interesting option for artists to distribute music directly to fans who follow them.
Still Early Days
While it is still too early to assess the impact that IGTV will have and whether or not it will emerge as a true competitor to YouTube, early indications are positive. It will allow any Instagram user to create and upload long-form videos to share with followers, though using a video editor like Movavi Video Editor to tidy up the content would be advisable.
If successful IGTV may very well end up as a more mobile-centric alternative to YouTube and could very well surpass it among mobile phone users in particular. Considering that is the core market Instagram caters to, being able to acquire a significant percentage of mobile users would be a resounding success for the platform.