Just earlier today, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced the launch of IGTV, a standalone app accessible from within Instagram. This new platform will allow users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the one-minute limit on Instagram.
As a direct challenge to video streaming behemoth YouTube, IGTV was launched with a strong base of content creators and Instagram celebrities.
While like YouTube, video content will be archived and indexed, IGTV has several distinctive features.
First, IGTV’s one-hour content runtime limitation. Even on YouTube, most content comes in under 10 minutes, except for long-form documentaries and (illegal) movies.
IGTV, taking after Instagram’s predominant focus on mobile platforms, would exclusively feature vertical videos at present. This means that the app would have limited adoption on PC or even television sets.
Like YouTube, creators are able to curate and develop Instagram Channels that can be subscribed to by users. Unlike the native Instagram app, all creators are also able to put live hyperlinks in the description to redirect traffic. Advertising, however, will be withheld for the time being, as Instagrams users grow accustomed to the platform.
The app is live on iOS and Android app stores, and will be easily identifiable on the native Instagram application by its TV-shaped icon on the Instagram home screen.
With a one billion Google Play Store downloads, Instagram might be a formidable foe to the long-time video streaming champion YouTube. With issues with monetisation on YouTube surfacing in recent months, many creators have turned to more viable options like Patreon and Twitch, where viewer engagement and monetary compensation is at times better.
With monetisation on the horizon for the fledgeling IGTV, creators might just flock over to the platform in droves. And it’s not only the advertisers and content creators excited at that prospect: Forbes has reported that Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, has increased in net worth by USD1.7B overnight.
This comes with Facebook’s stocks rose 2.3% right after the landmark IGTV announcement just hours earlier.