YouTube has some brand new competition in the field with Instagram. During a cool and flashy event in San Francisco, the company announced that the company will allow 1-hour long video posting as compared to 1 minute uploads now.
For this, Instagram will be starting IGTV which will have an accessible button inside the Instagram home screen. This includes a standalone app which will include popular videos from Instagram celebrities. At the event CEO Kevin Systrom said that it is time for the video to move forward and evolve. The idea behind IGTV is to watch long-form videos from the people you love.
From our CEO @kevin: “Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (@laurdiy) posting her newest project or King Bach (@kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start. IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. We made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.
How IGTV works?
Anyone can create videos and that does not just include big celebrities. People will be able to upload hour-long videos immediately except the ones who have new accounts. The IGTV app is available on both Android and Apple today through a TV-shaped button above Stories. Systrom explained that they created a dedicated app so that you can tap and play it without any distractions.
Through the IGTV app viewers will be able to swipe through many options of long-form videos. This includes swiping up to visit a browser tab for personally recommended videos, and the option of continuing to watch old videos already started.
Users will also be getting callout button alerting them about the new content. IGTV also lets the creators create different channels full of their different videos to which people can subscribe to. The creators will be able to put the links in the description of the videos to drive sales elsewhere.
For today, there are no ads on IGTV app but they will be at the end for a reasonable price and place. Since the creators are investing time on IGTV videos, he wants to make sure that they are sustainable by offering a way to monetize in the future.
Instagram will not be paying the creators directly for making videos, unlike Facebook. With over 1 billion users on Instagram, IGTV will be popular with creators who are not trying to earn money but grow an audience. However, IGTV will be building a monetization option which will include revenue shares as well.
he big user base can attract advertisers and according to eMarketer, Instagram will earn $5.48 billion in the USA alone in present year. Facebook loves the idea of premium ad inventory which businesses crave as they shift away from the TV. As of today, the share price of Facebook is up by 2.2% to almost $202.
With the latest evolution, Instagram has seen to go beyond the initial simplicity of just filtering photos and sharing them. When it launched mobile screens and cameras the market was not ready for long-term videos. As more families and teens switch towards online content Instagram has the opportunity to be the TV of mobile.
No doubt, YouTube will have a wider breadth of content, but with the curation of publishers and creators video content. One can expect Instagram to be a reliable place to watch something great on small screen.
Since its acquisition by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has grown more than 5 times the size of Snapchat. Today, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. This new addition was expected from Instagram for a very long time. Now, the company has scooped itself into this finally during the recent food and influencer filled event.
IGTV will all be pre-recorded and not live although Ashley Yuki mentioned that live video is something the company will look into for the future.
Unlike the main Instagram app which shows “Stories” on top of the page, IGTV will appear as a series of rectangular thumbnails at the bottom of creator’s page. Once you tap on it, the video goes full screen.
On the low left corner of each video, there are same 3 icons that you see on Instagram, i.e., a heart, comment and share tools. These three will have the same functionality. IGTV approach of Instagram is something similar it did with Boomerang. As for now, IGTV will stay as an app and feature within the main Instagram app. The decision is reflective of an overall Facebook strategy. The social network splits off the messenger service from its core app in 2014.
But the two app strategy might change if the video plan hits off well with teens. Through the entire event, Instagram made everything clear that it was supporting the decision of long-form video. They appealed to the young generation who use videos a lot.
The company claims that the present generation is watching less TV as compared to 5 years ago. The tools used on TV are out-dated and out of time said Systrom. Think about it, we watch TV in the form of vertical screen. His claim of the vertical screen might be immature at the moment, as Netflix and other forms offer vertical videos.
For both consumption and content, IGTV is completely up against YouTube. Instagram is already an established place in terms of creators and users. In order to start with, there won’t be any ads right now – but they are coming!
Apart from Ads, there are some key differences between IGTV and YouTube as products. Off late, YouTube has become successful and premiere online place for first digital creators of music and television content. Its horizontal videos make natural sense for music, videos and late night show clips.
YouTube has been around since 2006 and is “the” place to go to for searching videos. Over the years, YouTube has created a great platform for content creators. Today, it is the default search engine for videos. Facebook Live, Watch or the videos have not caused any dent in the YouTube user base. Today, Instagram has managed to reel in many Snapchat users to its platform which could be great for the company.