Instagram was established in 2012 and now, with 1 billion monthly active users, it has grown to five times the size of Snapchat… its next target? YouTube.
Less than a week ago, Instagram launched its newest platform, IGTV. Created to be a new way for influencers, celebrities, brands, and anyone with an Instagram account to publish long-form videos for their followers. IGTV can be used as a standalone app or it can be accessed and used through the main Instagram platform. So, as if we don’t spend enough time on the app already (at least 32 minutes a day), full-length videos mean that users will spend longer in the app and will not have to leave the app to view full videos on YouTube.
Why is the app a threat to the likes of YouTube and Vine? By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, so with IGTV being specifically built for high-quality vertical video, and vertical video being completely designed to view on your phone, Instagram have shown that they are more than a couple of steps ahead of the rest.
With the same sharing options as Instagram, users can share and receive direct links to videos via direct message. There are also tabs with recommended videos ‘For You’, videos from people you follow, a tab for ‘Popular Videos’, and a ‘Continue Watching’ tab for videos that you have paused and want to pick up from where you left off.
The app was launched at a star-studded event last week and many celebrities have already been posting their full-length vertical videos. Instagram is focusing its efforts on celebrities and influencers who made their name on mobile rather than more traditional TV and old-school publishers. It won’t be long before YouTube stars start posting their videos on IGTV making it easier for their followers to access them without having to leave Instagram.
Another selling point for users is the versatility that comes along with the app – greater freedom for video-making can only be a good thing if thought and effort goes into making strong, effective videos. There are no ads on the app – yet! However, over time ads will be introduced as it will be a way for creators to make a living.