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IGTV: The Beginning of the End for YouTube?

13 Aug IGTV: The Beginning of the End for YouTube?


IGTV is one of Instagram’s latest launches in there attempt to take over the internet. For those who do not know what IGTV is, it is a video-only platform that sits natively within Instagram (also available as a stand-alone app) that supports longer video format of up to 10 minutes and up to 1 hour if you have a bigger following. With Cisco estimating that by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic, Instagram are trying to get in on the action.

YouTube has been a power house in the digital world and online videos, it has come under fire for a number of things ranging from advertising and brand safety to its algorithms and suppressing creators. These recent mishaps have created an opportunity for other platforms to take advantage of the virtual monopoly that YouTube has. Whilst Facebook and Instagram have become the king of short form video (A moment of silence for Vine), YouTube still remains the go-to long form video platform. So lets have a look at how IGTV could become a YouTube killer:


Endless Engagement


This point is perhaps the most interesting one, when opening the IGTV app you will notice it starts playing right away exactly like a TV! Whilst Youtube provides users with a feed before clicking on to a video whilst IGTV has content playing from the moment you open the app until you close it. Where as Youtube is a place to go to for users to find something they already have in mind, IGTV allows users to get sucked into rabbit holes of endless engagement. With that addictive nature, content creators and brands will be interested in creating this form of content to get better engagement than what they get on YouTube.


Followers all in one place

With the majority of video content being uploaded to Instagram and YouTube, users must spend their time across multiple apps and multiple devices. On top of this, Instagram tends to be an influencers main audience with greater engagement and migrating these users across to YouTube has proven to be a challenge in the past. With the introduction of IGTV, Influencers can change their upload techniques and upload to one platform as well as in a vertical format.

So what does this mean for YouTube you may ask? This can cause a mass exodus of users as they can digest content on one individual app and device rather than multiple ones. This could cause brands and influencers to stop creating content on the platform due to the lack of views causing problems for YouTube.


Vertical Video


Vertical video is basically filming a video whilst the camera is length ways. So this can be filmed both on a mobile phone video as well as holding a camera in portrait but is primarily for viewing on mobile. With 94% of mobile users consuming all their content vertically and vertical videos receiving up to 9 times the engagement, it is no wonder that IGTV is focusing on vertical.

The issue with uploading vertical video is that when you try to view this on desktop, it can end up looking awkward on desktop with large areas of the screen being unused. With IGTV being exclusively on mobile, this allows for users and brands to upload content and avoid the awkward vertical video on desktop issue.



From what we have seen so far, IGTV has plenty of traits that could threaten YouTube’s dominance of the online video industry. However, YouTube still addresses a lot of key needs that IGTV does not. IGTV’s lack of presence on desktop will hurt its chances of taking over YouTube as well as the 10 minute limit that is placed on users who do not have a large following. This partnered with the fact that there is no advertising on IGTV yet which may dissuade content creators to move away from YouTube.

I don’t think IGTV is necessarily going to ‘kill’ off YouTube but it actually fills a gap in the market for medium-form video content which is yet to be done. I still don’t think that there is a thirst for long-form content on mobile just yet and Instagram’s new tool has given them a triple threat of short-form video, medium-form video and imagery. With this latest move and the dominance of Twitch (live-streaming platform), YouTube will need to take note and improve if they want to keep their dominance in the market.


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