Instagram launches IGTV for video sharing up to 60 minutes

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The rumors were so war: Instagram today announced IGTV or Instagram TV. The service allows certain Instagram creators to upload videos up to 60 minutes in length. As Instagram-pleb you can fill yourself with the video for up to ten minutes, so significantly less. IGTV will be available in the regular Instagram app via a hub, but there will also be a separate IGTV app that is only meant to view the videos.

There will initially be no ads on IGTV because first there must be engagement with the kids. However, that start-up period cannot last very long, because all those creators also have to make money and without revenue share on the ads that do not work. If you have to make long videos, it takes a lot of time, so either Instagram will pay big names out of their own pocket to make content, or the ads will arrive very quickly. In any case, Instagram does not intend to purchase original content, so do not expect comedy specials or other series-like items.

Say … yes to vertical videos?

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in the announcement that IGTV mobile first, simple and high-quality it. That will all be fine, but mobile first is important, because it means that the app is only filled with vertical videos. That makes all comparisons with YouTube immediately skewed because although vertical videos can be found there, the largest part on YouTube (thank God) is still horizontal.

Not so on IGTV. Everything is meant to be viewed on your phone, so the videos are meant to be vertical. That makes it complicated right away: the well-known Fortnite streamer Ninja was already scratching behind his ears according to Variety which he could do on IGTV because the gameplay is always horizontal. Films are also horizontal. The vertical set-up of IGTV makes it difficult to compete for much of the content on YouTube in that sense. Maybe that is not necessary and the now billion (!) Instagrammers will watch all those videos as a silly one.

Showing the right content

In any case, it is a daring step, and we will see in the coming weeks whether they have rated it well at Instagram. Then we might also get an idea if Instagram is ready to view and possibly censor millions of first videos of ordinary users if there are things that are not so neat. YouTube has trouble sitting with the filtering of videos and if there will soon be advertisements next to that is even more important.

The service will now be rolled out globally on both iOS and Android, so expect soon an update from Instagram if IGTV also comes to the Netherlands. 

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