FACEBOOK'S INSTAGRAM has taken aim at YouTube with the launch of IGTV, its first push into long-form video content.
Instagram is already down with the so-called YouTube generation, as the service is awash with stylised still of brunches, gym pics, and show-off holiday photos of tanned and toned 20-somethings. But to distract millennials and whatever they're calling the generation after them, Instagram is betting on long-form video to steal some of YouTube's thunder.
"We're evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video," spouted Instagram, seemingly enjoying stating the obvious. "By 2021, mobile video will account for 78 per cent of total mobile data traffic. And we've learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals."
As such, the videos most users can post on Instagram will increase form a mere one minute - it's not a long time, you at the back - to 10 minutes. Instagram users with large audiences will even have the scope to pose videos running up to an hour in length; that's one hell of a make-up tutorial or unboxing vid.
An hour is also quite some time to be sat fixated to your smartphone screen, particularly as IGTV is a stand-alone "mobile first" experience as well as a feature built into the main Instagram mobile app; there's no web or TV version in the works.
Oh and for people who don't like autoplaying videos, IGTV is perhaps one to avoid.
"Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don't have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests," explained Instagram's co-founder and big boss Kevin Systrom.
The move looks to be a way for Instagram to boost its appeal to younger people in the face of the likes of Snapchat and the rise of 'YouTubers' and Twitch streamers.
Systrom told Associated Press that video ads will come to IGTV in time, as Instagram looks to ensure content creators make a living; it'll also likely make Instagram a hefty wad of cash.
So yeah, expect Instagram to slowly become a hub for some properly obnoxious video-types with their fast-cut streams of thought to camera, and, hopefully, a place for interesting and informative videos to pop up as a pseudo detox from YouTube and its ever-churning video-serving algorithms. µ
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