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IGTV is here but will it ever really be able to replace YouTube?

Instagram recently hit 1 billion users and right on queue they rolled out a huge new update — IGTV — introducing long-form content to the ever-evolving visual consumer.

Up to one hour of video is able to be uploaded at once and you will be able to upload from the Instagram website from your computer as well.

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.

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IGTV is being seen as a competitor to YouTube but using vertical content only.

We are already seeing the type of content Instagram wants for IGTV with the Louis Vuitton video of FW19 pre runway event promotional video with new CD Virgil Abloh.


The intentional difference between normal uploads and IGTV is professionalism, content made professionally with a lot of effort put into the long form content.

Instagram saw how well IG live was and the long tail of viewers who would watch after the live ended, the natural evolutionary step would be to allow people to upload previously recorded/edited work that is meant to be watched more attentive than normal stories and live post without being apart of your feed.

But just like Instagram itself, it’s not the app that keeps people around — it’s the content being created for the platform.

This is going to be an uphill battle for Instagram to get people to watch long-form content on IGTV because so many people are already watching YouTube videos every day.

Over 400 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube daily and with higher engagement on Instagram uploads, it’s going to be interesting seeing which platform works for content creators and curators.

Much like when Twitch TV started to grow, the question was not, “is this going to kill YouTube” it was “how is this going to change my contact with the audience,” Twitch very quickly became the place for people to interact super quickly with consumers.

If your content did not benefit from the live interaction then there was less of a reason to stream and like most things now, everyone found their place.

Instagram Live GIF by Product Hunt - Find & Share on GIPHY

Ninja getting 41k followers in one day is amazing but he would not be growing or able to create that type of growth through a traditional YouTube video game commentator route.

Only time will tell what IGTV will bring to the table in terms of content consumption, will people watch podcast style videos on Instagram or will youtube continue to dominate the video world? Over 500,000,000 hours of YouTube are watched every day, that’s more than 57k years of videos being watched daily.

It’s hard to compete with such a large company as YouTube but like everything else in today’s internet world, users will use what’s best for them and content creators will use whatever they like most to upload.

That back and fourth of interaction between created and the consumer is what makes this type of platform so amazing, the development of content is based on both sides of the content.

Both YouTube and Instagram have 1,000,000,000 monthly users so it’s going to be interesting seeing social media influencers on IG utilize IGTV for longer content.

The real question is which platform will it be more intuitive for these influencers to make their bread? Only time will tell.