We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: video is taking over the Internet. Around 75 million people in the United States watch online videos every day, and that number is expected to rise, especially with the launch of Instagram’s latest endeavor: IGTV.
IGTV stands for Instagram TV, and despite the sound of its name, its purpose isn’t for home renovation and house hunting shows. Rather, it’s a new app from Instagram, Inc., that enables users to “watch long form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.”
IGTV’s main feature is its unlimited video length. Unlike Instagram Stories or a regular Instagram post, IGTV allows users to upload videos that are 15 seconds to an hour long. This allows users to see more of their favorite content producers and doesn’t restrict the creativity of popular Instagramers.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re sitting here thinking, “so it’s YouTube 2.0?”
Yes. Well, no. Actually… kind of.
The Instagram press blog announcing IGTV’s release indirectly highlighted a few differences between IGTV and YouTube:
- IGTV is optimized for phones, meaning it’s made for VERTICAL content.
- It’s just like TV. IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to click around and search for the video you’re looking for. Instead, you are immediately bombarded with an automatic video player.
Still, there are a lot of similarities between the two platforms:
- IGTV and YouTube both recommend videos based on your interests through the Discover page and highlight trending videos.
- Users on both platforms can create and/or follow creator channels.
- Both allow you to like, comment, or send videos through a direct message feature.
The IGTV app can be downloaded from the app store and accessed with an Instagram account. There’s no need to add another login to your list of things to remember. Even better, for those who refuse to delete a chunk of their photos in order to download another social media app, IGTV can also be accessed on the main Instagram app in the upper right-hand corner as well. You don’t necessarily need the separate app.
So is IGTV the new YouTube? Should YouTube be worried?
I can’t predict the future. There’s no way to tell if YouTube creators will exclusively switch to IGTV, but it doesn’t sound very likely, does it?
However, this certainly isn’t the first time Instagram has proved it isn’t afraid to step on other platforms’ toes. When Instagram announced Instagram Stories in August 2016, people were concerned about the Instagram is out to conquer the social media world. It’s constantly changing, adding features, and updating the user experience to stay at the top of its game. (Although I do wish posts were still in chronological order.)
At the end of the day, Instagram isn’t YouTube and it isn’t Snapchat.
It’s Instagram. Instagram Stories. IGTV.
Instagram is a place where content creators can access different platforms within the same platform. And right now, it’s vamping up its brand with IGTV.
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