It was only a matter of time but today, Instagram launched it's first formal attack on YouTube as they officially announced IGTV.
Since Instagram launched in October 2010, the app has made a name for itself as the go-to platform for sharing imagery, with video very much the supporting act. But now, there's a new home for up to hour-long videos that will not only live on Instagram’s explore page but also in a standalone app. You could say that we didn't see this coming, but we totally did so here's what you need to know.
How does IGTV work?
As far as how it works, Instagram says IGTV will begin “playing as soon as you open the app,” and if you follow someone on regular on Instagram, you’ll automatically follow them on IGTV, too.
“In IGTV, the creators are the channels”, reads the company’s blog post. Instagram says you’ll be able to browse sections like “‘For You,’ ‘Following,’ ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching.’”
This is a massive sigh of relief to all those who are finding it difficult on YouTube but have Instagram down, and the new vertical viewing is going to do wonders for the claw hand on the commute! Not to mention content creators will start making videos for IGTV specifically, as they will be the only players in the vertical game. These will sit differently from stories as you will now be able to upload both via mobile and desktop.
It's not yet clear if the videos users upload to IGTV will also appear on their main grid on Instagram, but more information will likely be available as the IGTV stand-alone app is released.
Is it actually TV though?
Before Instagram's introduction of the live video feature, the maximum clip allowed on IG was 60 seconds. With IGTV, all users will be able to post videos to the IGTV feature that are as long as 60 minutes so the world really is your oyster. TechCrunch noted that the company likely envisions a sweet spot closer to 10 minutes, which indicates that the platform will look more like YouTube than streaming services like Netflix. Hello beauty vloggers!
Who's gonna be on it?
My sources have been telling me a while that Instagram have been sniffing around the YouTube hard hitters, ready to poach the vlogging heroes from around the world. Instagram boasts that IGTV will feature videos from creators like Sophie Hannah Richardson, former Vine star King Bach, and Fortnite streamer Ninja, but like YouTube, it’ll also allow for anyone to post videos.
Like Instagram Stories, IGTV will have a built-in "swipe up" function for big names, so these partners will have the opportunity to send viewers to their own web sites via the videos and of course, affiliate link the shit out of their content to make more cash. Basically, YouTube should be afraid, very afraid.
What about YouTube?
Yup, Instagram’s YouTube era starts now. The Wall Street Journal reported on the news earlier in the month by pointing out that Instagram was exploring how long videos would work on the platform with a particular focus on created content. TechCrunch then followed up on that story, reporting that Instagram was seeking out specific YouTube creators who might be interested in the platform, and so the rumours spread.
The last nine months haven’t been particularly great for YouTube—from child exploitation videos, Logan Paul, and ever looming concerns over monetization. Facebook, still reeling from the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, likely would not enjoy reliving YouTube’s nightmare, so it will be interesting to see how IGTV addresses many of the same issues that have sparked on YouTube over the years, since apparently that’s the kind of content, and the sort of creators, it’s trying to court.
I guesss all we can do now is watch this space! Will you be ditching YouTube for IGTV?
Header image via: TechCrunch