If you are someone like me who was hoping that vertical “smartphone”-style video was just a fad doomed to fade away, you may want to think twice. With the latest announcement from social media giant Instagram, which now has a 1 billion users sharing photos and videos every day, it looks like vertical video is not only here to stay, but it will even get more popular.
At least that’s the idea behind Instagram TV, or IGTV, or maybe it is IG TV… regardless; the Facebook owned largest photo sharing app in the world is clearly making it known that its management thinks that video usage, as in vertical, full-screen mobile phone-shot video is the future. And since that’s what the kids are doing nowadays it makes sense for IG to jump into the video game with both proverbial feet.
IGTV, as the new app name suggests is catering to more long-form, and will be available as a standalone app for both iOS and Android. Instagram are releasing the IGTV functionality within the normal Instagram app to all its 1 Billion users from the start, who will still also be able to watch from within the Instagram app (top right hand corner TV-like icon) instead of the stand-alone IGTV app.
IGTV is different in a few ways from the current video ability within Insta. 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, IGTV allows users to upload videos up an hour in length.
IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app; users 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.” Users can also like, comment and send videos to friends in DMs.
You don’t need to create a separate channel from your account on IGTV, simply if you are already an Instagram user, you can upload IGTV videos. Your handle is your channel. I guess.
Images by Instagram
While this new move is certainly a strategic one to lure content creators with larger audiences from arch-rival YouTube, which is still the world’s largest platform for user generated video, there is still the question of compensation, which has not yet been made clear how it will happen.
In a recent post by recode, Instagram boss Kevin Systrom stated that the company is exploring options to pay content creators, as they are committed to helping creators make a living off creating stuff for Instagram, however concrete payment models (whether they be licensing or revenue-share a-la YouTube) will be explored post-launch.
Instagram will be rolling out the IGTV stand-alone app globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS.
What do you think of IGTV? Have you tried it? Will you be creating video content for Instagram? Do you think it’s the best thing ever, or maybe the worst thing ever? Something in the middle, maybe?… I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments section.