IGTV, Explained: An overview of Instagram’s new video platform
Last week, Instagram pulled a Sasha Fierce and unveiled IGTV, the company’s premier video platform that’s meant to take on YouTube.
Unlike its core features, IGTV will support videos no longer than one hour, in an obvious bid to persuade more creators to make content on their platform, or more idealistically, take the jump.
Here’s a quick overview of the new platform.
This is perhaps the biggest change brought forth by IGTV, because it positions itself against YouTube. What’s more, similar to the move they made with Stories, those already following you will get to see your videos when they tap the IGTV icon.
As of press time, the UI is pretty minimal and scarce, which means creators can do only a few things with it, verse YouTube which is a full-fledged media platform unto itself. Of course, IGTV is in a unique position in that it can flourish into something that’s worthy of competing with Google’s video streaming giant.
First introduced on Stories, vertical video seems to be the way the waves crash right now. All uploaded videos will be cropped in a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio, fitting for Instagram’s mobile-first philosophy.
Linking and Search
IGTV videos are linkable, just like Instagram posts. To access it, simply tap the ellipsis next to the share icon of an IGTV video, and hit Copy Link. There’s no official way (yet) to embed it, but here’s a nifty solution from a Redditor.
Search functionality isn’t super robust, either. Users can search for channels, but not videos. A few ways away until it becomes at par with YouTube’s search functionality.
Instagram has obviously put a lot of thought into this new move, and doubtless its strongest driving force is the readily available user base. Everyone and their aunt is on Instagram these days it doesn’t sound surprising if it becomes a legitimate threat to YouTube’s unwavering success as a video platform.
As an exclusively vertical platform, though, I’m thinking IGTV will be hitting a few speed bumps, as plenty of creators, specifically filmmakers, specific about the 16:9 ratio. I know I am.
That all said, it’s interesting to see where all this is headed, and you can rest assured we’ll update you once more details emerge.