Facebook owned Instagram has introduced a new platform which will allow long-form video content up to 60 minutes. It will also be available as a feature inside the main Instagram app aside from the general feed. This platform will particularly cater to content creators who want to take advantage of the huge base of audience Instagram has. The photo-sharing app also announced that it currently has 1 billion monthly active users.
One of the major differentiators between IGTV and YouTube is that the former is banking on support for vertical videos instead of the traditional horizontal alignment. Instagram also allows videos on their platform but the length is restricted to 60 seconds. With IGTV, creators can now put up videos up to 60 minutes.
While introducing IGTV, Kevin Systrom, Co-founder & CEO of Instagram said that this is the latest step in the company’s evolution as a platform. He also indicated that horizontal video format is quite inconvenient in an age where most media is consumed on smartphones.
YouTube has been receiving flak off late from some of the top creators over issues relating to revenues and copyrights. It can prove to be a great timing for Instagram if it can offer creators a good platform for their long-form video content. Unlike YouTube though, the social network has announced that they have no plans to create original content as of yet.
For a social media platform, it is important to keep the users engaged for a long period of time. Currently, Instagram claims that users spend around half an hour each day on average. With the launch of IGTV, this metric is sure to go up. So along with getting photo and short video updates from friends and celebs, users can now see full-fledged shows on the platform without having to leave the app.
You can download IGTV as a standalone app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. But you can also access it directly via the main Instagram app by clicking on its icon positioned in top right, next to the DM icon.
It will be interesting to see how creators as well as users respond to this new feature. We’ll have a clearer picture of the new platform probably after a few months when there are enough creators on it.