It was in 2012 that photo-sharing app Instagram got acquired by social networking giant Facebook. And there has been no looking back for the app ever since. It has already surpassed Snapchat in 2017 and now, it is planning to take on YouTube with a new app. Meet IGTV – Instagram’s answer to YouTube. While this is a move that was widely expected, the company finally took the wraps off its IGTV app at a fancy event in San Francisco this week. Till now, Instagram could support videos of up to 1 minute. With IGTV, content creators will be able to add longer videos.
Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s new app:
- It is a standalone app by Instagram
IGTV is not a part of the main Instagram app. It is a standalone app by the company which is available for both Android and iOS. It has to be downloaded from Play Store or App Store in order to watch longer videos.
- It can support an hour long videos
IGTV by Instagram can support videos that are as long as 1 hour. It is notable though, that most of the content creators will be able to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes long. The option of uploading videos up to 60 minutes long will only be available to creators who have massive audiences.
- IGTV supports vertical videos
Since its inception, Instagram has been a mobile-first platform. All the features that it has got have been designed in sync with its mobile first strategy. And IGTV is no exception to this rule. So it wasn’t surprising to see that IGTV only supports vertical videos and not the horizontal ones like we are used to watching on YouTube.
- Supports only pre-recorded videos
Currently, IGTV app only supports videos that are pre-recorded. While users can choose to go live on the main Instagram app, this option is currently not available to them on the IGTV app.
- Will soon get live videos
Like we just mentioned, the IGTV app currently does not support live videos, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever. Instagram’s product manager Ashley Yuki indicated at the event that live videos are definitely a part of the company’s future plans for IGTV.
- The Instagram app has a dedicated IGTV icon
Instagram is replicating the strategy that it adopted for Boomerang and Facebook adopted for its Messenger app. Both Boomerang and Messenger existed as features inside Instagram and Facebook apps initially and later got split as separate apps. So users had to download them in order to access the ‘features’ they had gotten used to. Similarly, the IGTV icon is placed right next to the Direct Message icon on Instagram. As of now, users can access the content on IGTV just by clicking on it. However, it is expected that soon users will have to download the IGTV app to access the same content.
- Same engagement options as Instagram
Once you access the IGTV app, you’ll see that videos appear in as small thumbnails at the bottom of the page. Users need to tap on the thumbnail of the video they are interested in and instantly, it goes full screen for them to watch it. Below these videos, there are the same engagement options as Instagram – a heart to like the video, a bubble to comment on it and an arrow to share it with friends over direct message.
- Not a place to share life updates
Unlike Instagram, IGTV is not a place that is being promoted as a place to share one’s life’s updated with a group of friends. Rather, the company is touting it as a place where users can watch entertainment content. This directly pits it against YouTube, which is also known for watching entertainment content, music videos and more.
- Will soon be getting ads
Currently, IGTV is an ad-free space to watch videos. But that is not going to be the case in the long run. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom was quizzed at the event about ads coming to IGTV, and he confirmed the same saying, “Right now we’re focused on building engagement, and there are no ads in IGTV in day one. But that is a very reasonable place to end up. There will obviously be a way for creators to make a living since they spend their lives doing this.”