Instagram Takes on YouTube with its New Video App, IGTV –But Some Tweaks are Needed

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Recently, Instagram delved into long-form video-sharing like YouTube by launching its new standalone video app, IGTV.

The app which is built for how you actually use your phone, allows videos to display vertically in full screen and unlike known Instagram where videos are limited to 60 secs, videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long.

Although available as a standalone app (that’s if you want to keep the stories and pictures out of it), IGTV is also integrated into the main Instagram app and can be found on the top-right side of the feed, next to the DM button. Aimed at Internet creators, the app allows upload of up to 1 hour of videos and users can upload even 4K content.

Instagram's new IGTV app
Instagram’s new IGTV app

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How it Works

As expected, it is very simple to set up, as users that already have an Instagram account would only have to log in on the IGTV app (or click on it from their Instagram app) and they can get started. Once logged in, you have access to contents created and posted by people you follow on Instagram on their IGTV channels.

So 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. You can swipe and move around to discover more — there are the “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching” options available.

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 Once logged in, you have access to contents created and posted by people you follow on Instagram on their IGTV channels.
Once logged in, you have access to contents created and posted by people you follow on Instagram on their IGTV channels.

And should you want to a create a channel for yourself, it’s very simple and can be done in seconds –all you have to do is click on the ‘create channel’ button and you have gotten yourself one.

Creating a Channel is Very Simple
Creating a Channel is Very Simple

Now, like a typical television, IGTV automatically starts playing the recent videos by the Channels you follow once you open the app and like a normal video player, you can pause, skip to a certain moment in the video and also replay.

Still Needing Some Tweaks

Having checked out the app, created a channel and watched some videos, I noticed a few things need to be improved on.

Firstly, as cool as automatically watching videos on the app is, it is not exactly data saving; I should, at least, be able to make my choice of videos and not just get them thrown at me.  Also, there’s really no way to select your desired video; once a video ends, another starts playing. Like YouTube, it would be nice to be able to turn off autoplay.

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Additionally, since videos can be an hour long, there should be an option to save offline and probably watch them sometime later. I also noticed that when dropping comments on videos, they go out of view and stop playing. There should be a way to make comments without interrupting the video in play.

https://twitter.com/AnomalyBaby_/status/1010146071660695553

Also, as amazing as IGTV is for Internet creators, I sure hope Instagram has plans to monetize it — because only then would it really be taking on the big and popular sites for creators like YouTube. No one would want to post videos of about 60 mins and not get anything in return.

So from my point of view, IGTV is cool but some improvements are needed. However, I believe IGTV has the potential of becoming the next big thing in video-sharing in the next few months, considering the huge number of Instagram users (about 1 billion).

I look looking forward to seeing a lot of music videos, reality shows, and much more on the platform.


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