Instagram just got even more video friendly. Today, the company announced a new app called IGTV that will feature full-screen, hour-long videos created by some of your favourite users. Although it has its own app, you can get the full experience within the main Instagram application, too - from uploading to keeping up with your favourite content makers. Inside Instagram, soon you'll see an icon that'll take you into the full vertical video experience, or you can choose to download the IGTV app if you want to keep Stories and pictures out of it.
Here's our initial thoughts on IGTV...
"Instagram pushing into longer videos was expected, but an entire app to compete with YouTube is a whole new level. They’ve definitely made the right decision by offering the feature within their existing app - I think many users are reluctant to download a new one just yet. IGTV is obviously trying to appeal to a younger generation of consumers, however I can’t help but think this is just encouraging those young Vloggers showing us their Primark Under-£10 hauls…Que the overly enthusiastic voices shouting at you, "HEEEY GUUUUUYS!” and "WHAT UP INSTA TV!!”
Although you can still upload landscape videos, IGTV is more for portrait format which I find a little strange. Apparently this benefits the ‘natural way’ to hold your phone - however watching an hour-long video in portrait seems very unnatural to me.
In short, this will be big. And just wait until the feature begins advertising and live stream… "
"I am unsure about this development. Facebook, who own Instagram, and their attempts to capture the online video market have been of mixed success of late. To me, the make or break of this is the audience that picks up on it. Is this going to spark a new breakthrough in the video format through sophisticated long-form content, live reporting on phones and so on; or will it encourage mainly low quality content from dilettantish vlogs on personal phones?
Personally, I won't use it, but professionally, I can definitely see its value should the audience that congregates around it be diverse and serious enough."
"Well, well, well Instagram...what are you up to? Trying to truly rattle YouTube's cage, or just adding a quirky new feature? I think the former. I'm very interested to see how IGTV plays out, I've little doubt it will be popular but what i'm most curious about is how people will use it. Instagram have made a point by only allowing portrait format footage lending it to the "natural way" people use their phones, although this is easily remedied if people upload in landscape format and the viewer simply turns their phone.
So will IGTV become just a long-winded version of Instagram Stories? Will it be a place where content from other platforms is just replicated? Or (and I hope it's this) will it be a medium through which people start to re-imagine new ways to engage audiences with original content? Only time will tell..."
"Writing from personal experience as there's no data to use to inform my opinion. I think the longer form feature is good, it'll work well for events and recording talks.
The standalone app will be good for content creation but the strength of the service will be its integration with IG/Facebook feed, as I personally don't go to the YouTube app to watch videos they're normally discovered on one of the multiple platforms I'm using daily. Facebook is already implementing a YouTube-style video player with related videos but they are a bit light on content, this is where IGTV will play a role, filling up their player with content.
I always use my phone in landscape if I'm looking to watch a longer video, so the portrait-focused aspect seems strange to me but I'm sure content creators will be able to find a way around this easily."
"I think it's pretty cool. It definitely gives scope to channels that want to explore more complicated content or teaching (this could be especially helpful for complex issue campaigns or groups that want to show off practices, tips and little lessons) or even highlight the more human side of a channel. It gives the option to be more personable. My only thought is around how practical it is to use!
Having only had a very brief look, it seems like you can't cut or edit videos in-app, which means for any curated content you'd have to put it together beforehand, download it to your phone and then upload it to IGTV. Not to mention the upload seems to be currently limited to 10 minutes, not 60? Even so, it'll still be interesting to look and see how the interface develops over time, and what kind of content it's used for!"
Do you have an opinion on IGTV? We'd love to hear it - Tweet us at @ifnotnowdigital.