Instagram is taking on YouTube with it’s latest release – Instagram Television (IGTV), a new feature that allows users to upload videos of up to one hour in length. “It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. 

Yesterday, the company announced IGTV to a crowd in San Francisco. Until now, videos have been limited to one minute so this is a major leap that leads me to think that Instagram is starting a battle royale with YouTube.

Systrom rightly pointed out that “All the data we have shows that people are spending less and less time in front of TVs, but spending more and more time on their phones.” He said he feels a “responsibility” to make these changes to Instagram. Let’s all take a moment to shower Systrom with praise for his do-gooding.

Now onto the important stuff, you probably just want to know how this new feature will look on your feed right? Well, IGTV will be accessible from a button on the Instagram home screen, along with a standalone app. IGTV will showcase popular videos from Instagram celebrities. But it’s not limiting the feature to celebrities, anyone can be a creator, any user will be able to upload vertical videos through Instagram’s app or via the web.

The IGTV app will be available globally on iOS and Android from today as well as in the app through a TV shaped button above Stories. Users will be able to swipe through a variety of long form videos or swipe up to a browse tab of recommended and popular videos. IGTV will also alert users when new videos have been uploaded from those they follow. Creators will be able to develop Instagram channels, put inks in the description of their videos, and you’ll be able to subscribe to channels (does this sound familiar?).

Instagram are one up on Youtube as there are no commercials on IGTV…as of yet. So don’t get too excited as ads will no doubt be popping up left, right and centre in the future. Systrom says it’s “obviously a very reasonable place [for ads] to end up.” According to Systrom, the aim is to make the platform sustainable by offering creators a way to monetize in the future. Instagram will not be paying any creators directly for their videos, like Facebook did in an attempt to make the Facebook Watch video hub popular.

Another benefit of the IGTV is that you’ll also be able to upload videos on desktops as well as through mobile.

This new feature could also attract advertisers with eMarketer already predicting Instagram to earn $5.48 billion in U.S. ad revenue in 2018. On a related note, Facebook’s stock rose 2.3% today as shareholders rush to jump on the bandwagon. That makes Mr. Zuckerberg $1.7 billion richer.

Sure, YouTube may always have a wider array of content but Instagram could certainly give them a run for their money.

Ironically, if you would like to watch the highlights of the announcement you can watch them on YouTube below.

So what does this mean for your brand? Are you making the most of video content? If you need help building a strategy and plan to make more of video, then we’d love to talk. You can find out more about how we’ve helped others grow their brands through video by contacting us here.

Comments are closed.