In the last few days, you could already read first hints and insider information on a planned new Instagram function on various blogs. Yesterday in San Francisco at a press conference of the social media giant it became official. Instagram launches a new video platform with IGTV. This will allow Instagram users in the future to share videos up to 60 minutes in length. +So far, the maximum length of videos on Instagram was 60 seconds. How exactly IGTV works and what the launch means for other social platforms you can find out here.
With the story feature, Instagram’s developers and strategists have already proven their ability to spot trends and be inspired by other social media platforms. The good nose for a new function has paid off. In addition to introducing IGTV, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced that the brand had been breached by a billion active users.
Instagram also tries to follow current trends in media usage with IGTV. Less and less young people watch TV. According to Kevin Systrom, 40% fewer teenagers used the media than they did five years ago, while video consumption on Instagram alone increased 60% in the last year. Therefore, the idea came up to give the young target group with IGTV exactly what it needs. The platform should work like a TV. Users turn IGTV on and the “program” starts immediately, without a search for a video. At first sight, it only sounds like Instagram is offering the TV-shy target group an alternative, turns out to be a strategic move against the video platform YouTube. Because on closer inspection, IGTV is much closer to the Google subsidiary than the linear medium TV. Just like with YouTube, IGTV focuses on the creators, i.e. all users who post something. You can follow them, and also like and comment their videos to connect with them.
At the press conference that took place exactly three years after the launch of Instagram’s video feature, Instagram’s CEO introduced the functionality and key features of IGTV.
Even though you can watch a creator’s videos on their Instagram profile, IGTV will have its own app. An icon in the Instagram app should create an interface between the two apps. To what extent the use of videos differs in the two apps is not yet clear.
Besides all similarity, there is a significant difference between IGTV and YouTube: the format. All the videos you can watch in the Instagram Video Hub are vertical and full-screen. According to Systrom and mobile usage, this is more intuitive for users than horizontal videos. In the future, the users have to decide, if longer videos will really catch on in portrait format.
These can either use the classic search function in IGTV or browse in one of four categories to find new content. In the first category “For You”, users are offered videos that they might like. The second category “Following” shows creator content, which is already followed by a user. In the category “Popular” currently, popular videos are displayed on IGTV and in the last category “Continue Watching” users can watch finished videos.
Advertising should not be on IGTV for now. However, it is only a matter of time before that will change. It remains to be seen whether individual creators, similar to YouTube, will be involved in the advertising revenue.
At the helpcenter of IGTV, you can find an interesting restriction on the new function. For example, only “bigger and verified accounts” are allowed to post videos that are 60 minutes long. All other users can upload videos with a maximum length of 10 minutes.
Competition for YouTube?
All these features put IGTV in direct competition with YouTube. Whether users will use both apps in the future or decide on one is difficult to estimate. That will probably also be related to how much YouTube Creator will use the new platform. Large social media influencers are usually not limited to just one platform. That’s why YouTube influencers often have a long reach on Instagram. How these influencers will use the new possibilities of IGTV is probably the most exciting question in connection with the new platform. Since format reasons will make it difficult to produce a video for both platforms, creators will probably have to decide which of the platforms they spend more time and content on.
Also, YouTube will not stay on the spot and launched YouTube Premium and YouTube Music this month. The premium version of the video platform is available for € 11.99 per month and allows users to view content without commercial breaks, play videos in the background and download videos. In addition, premium users have access to YouTube’s own production. As a result, YouTube Premium occupies the same market as Amazon Prime and Netflix.
YouTube Music, whereas, can be seen as a direct competitor to Spotify. For € 9.99 a month, users have similar features to YouTube Premium, but you can only stream music content.
Last week’s developments provide exciting new impulses in the hotly contested market of social media platforms. In the end, users alone decide which platforms and which functions are successful in the long term. IGTV, YouTube Premium, and YouTube music are now available for iOS and Android, and we look forward to seeing the new features evolve over the following months.