Instagram is going right for competitors in unfamiliar territory having announced a video service today. IGTV is a long-form video platform that will roll out in the “next few weeks” on Android and iOS devices. Instagram has been forward thinking with recent app updates, but prepare yourself for a taste of something new that could pave way for the future.
On Wednesday, Instagram introduced something much more than a feature. IGTV is an upcoming video service branded by Instagram and owned by Facebook. It’ll be a standalone mobile application, but Instagram users will also be able to take advantage of some of the functionality in the existing Instagram application. This will allow the company to capitalize on the success it has achieved with Instagram and make sure its users are informed about the new service. Not to mention, everyone would have access from day one with an update.
So what is it? It’s basically YouTube, but there’s more. IGTV operates like your television. Open the standalone app and video will start playing automatically. Similarity, there are various channels. However, these aren’t all TV stations. The channels are actually the creators you follow on the social network. Therefore, there will be loads of them available from launch. All videos are vertical since the service won’t be coming to tablets or web any time soon, and programs range from a minute up to sixty minutes in length. In other words, this isn’t a social network, it’s a video platform and it’ll surely expand out as more people start their own channels.
IGTV is easy to navigate and pairs with one’s Instagram account. In the app, there are tabs labeled ‘For You’, ‘Popular’, ‘Following’, and ‘Continue Watching’. You might recognize some of these names from Google apps, which undoubtedly is where Instagram’s targets are. In the Instagram app, IGTV will be its own section next to Instagram Stories. Similar to YouTube, users will have the ability to “like” videos, comment on videos, and even send direct messages to creators. Overall, I think this is a pretty cool idea with a lot of potential as people move from their living room home theater and on to their handheld devices. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section and let us know if you’ll be giving the service a try.