Instagram has taken aim at YouTube after they launch their new long-form video app.
Announced on Wednesday at an event held in San Francisco, the new feature is called IGTV and allows users to create vertical videos up to an hour long in length. The feature can be accessed via a separate app or through the regular Instagram app.
The app only shows vertical videos similar to how the stories feature works but there are no filters to apply on the videos unlike everywhere else on Instagram. IGTV will also support uploading from your desktop.
Instagrams push into longer form video comes just after its parent company Facebook announced their first set of funded news shows in the U.S for Facebook Watch a new platform for shows on Facebook.
The goal for both platforms is to loosen the grip Youtube has on online video consumption the default place for video consumption and has been for years. Youtube still has the benefit of being a place purely for video, unlike IGTV which is hidden away in the upper right-hand corner of the Instagram app.
But Youtube is also a saturated market with an army of creators already, but many smaller creators may see Instagram as a good opportunity to grow. Youtube also have their fair share of critics within their community and have come under heavy criticism regarding policy changes that seem to hurt content creators.
The app itself is nice and simple, Instagram designed the feature to act like normal TV because of this content starts playing as soon as you open the app from here you can swipe up to either search or swipe through the different categories – For You, Following, Popular and Continue Watching – as well as search and access your profile.
Holding your phone vertically feels odd at first as some of the current content was clearly originally filmed to be viewed in landscape and can be a little awkward but when done right holding your phone vertically feels natural and perhaps more comfortable than in landscape.
Any content a user uploads to IGTV is found on that user’s’ channel’ and is accessible to their followers from their Instagram page beside their story highlights or from within the app itself under the ‘Following’ section. The app also plays a static effect as it loads videos as you flick through which is a nice little detail.
Overall it is a good addition to the app but its success will depend on how many users adopt and use it and whether vertical only video works for long format video.
IGTV is available on Android and IOS now.