Is Instagram the new YouTube? Introducing IGTV

With its launch of IGTV, Instagram has changed gears and is now ready to compete with YouTube, currently the most popular broadcasting website.

The Facebook-owned company has introduced IGTV, which lets creators upload videos up to one hour long.

A phone in the dark showing the Instagram logo

How does it work?

Videos on IGTV will be portrait, the same as Instagram Stories, however one of the biggest additions is that users can upload videos from their desktops, which will create a unique link. Similar to YouTube, all IGTV users will have a channel where their videos will be stored.

The app allows users to swipe through various longer videos, or swiping up to visit a Browse tab, which showcases popular and recommended videos.

It is still unknown whether there will be any adverts or monetisation on IGTV videos, which is prevalent within YouTube’s uploads.

Beating competition

Are Instagram steadily becoming the centre of social media platforms? Back in 2016, Instagram introduced Stories, which worked very similarly to Snapchat, one of the most popular social media applications. Since the concept of Stories cannot be patented, Instagram took full advantage and incorporated the feature into their app. This trend of fierce competitiveness is only growing bigger now with the introduction of IGTV.

Instagram and YouTube are similar in their registered users, with both having over one billion accounts, however YouTube has always been known to be the place for viewing video content. With IGTV, Instagram have one purpose in mind, which is to attract active video viewers from YouTube to their new IGTV platform. This seems like a very bold move, especially considering that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. How easy will it be for Instagram to win people over with their new longer-form video broadcasting app?

YouTube’s reputation has been under fire in recent months, with the latest incident involving famous YouTube vlogger and personality Logan Paul, who posted a video which featured a suicide victim in a Japanese forest. This circulated the news and instantly gave YouTube a bad name for its handling of sensitive content which can be viewed, especially in Logan Paul’s case, primarily by children.

The perceived deterioration of YouTube is only strengthening Instagram’s capability to create their own broadcasting platform. Instagram’s gradual shift from being a photo sharing platform to a multi-purpose, multimedia production platform shows just how much they want to be at the forefront of everything social media has to offer.

A phone displaying app icons for IGTV, Instagram and YouTube

The future of social media

With this new video broadcasting feature on Instagram, it puts all the other social applications under pressure to compete. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for the way people use social media, and if other players enter the market with new, innovative social features that aren’t available now.

Personally, I think this was a risky but appropriate move for Instagram; they are now one step closer to becoming the ultimate social media app.

The new features will add more strength to social advertising, which is an essential element of increasing brand awareness.

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