Instagram just declared war on YouTube with the launch of 'IGTV'

Angelica Greene
June 22, 2018

"It's mobile first, it's simple and it's quality", Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said during an event unveiling the service. Now an update is here using which creators over the platform will be able to make video content of up to one hour in length. Users will have access to comments, related content and other features taken from Instagram on IGTV. Still, with Instagram having just hit 1 billion active users, it has a big enough base that many, many people are likely to at least try it out. It also adds that young viewers watch more amateur content.

This new feature will put Instagram in direct competition with YouTube and will no doubt help the social app to lure over all those original content creators. It's created to promote long-form video content and, as you might have already guessed, the focus will be on vertical videos.

The initiative comes as parent company Facebook struggles to attract teens, while also dealing with a scandal that exposed its leaky controls for protecting users' personal information. As part of the launch, Instagram listed a few of its top influencers who have already started adding videos to their IGTV channels, including Lele Pons, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian West and Kevin Hart.

From what Instagram has shown so far, the service looks like a fun addition to Instagram's existing video tools.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion six years ago, now has 1 billion users, up from 800 million nine months ago.

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How much time users spend using an app is an important competitive metric for social media platforms. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren't limited to one minute.

"I think in all of our research, what we figured out very quickly is that when people browse through Feed, they don't want to stop and watch a 10-minute video, and to do that slows down Feed and makes it feel clunky", Systrom said in a press conference after the debut. So creators won't be able to monetize their videos with ads like on YouTube with Ad-Sense.

Facebook-owned Instagram is joining the likes of Google's YouTube and Snapchat's Discover with the release of IGTV - a video creation and sharing app for the Instagram community. "It's like Coca-Cola and Pepsi", she said. But who knows, perhaps the platform will open the doors to new kind of content.

IGTV is an app that users must download separately from Instagram on iOS and Android. By contrast, most YouTube videos fill only a portion of the screen unless the phone is tilted horizontally.

But Systrom sees it differently. To celebrate, the Facebook-owned photo site is launching a true video platform that goes beyond the short throwaway videos the service now offers.

Other reports by GizPress

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