Instagram goes all-in on longer videos in an effort to shut down YouTube

Just as we had expected, Instagram has just unveiled a new app called IGTV that allows users to post long-form videos up to 10 minutes in length for the average user, and up to an hour for the platform’s superstars.

You’ll see videos appear both inside the Instagram app and inside IGTV with the latter focusing on taking screen time away from platforms like YouTube which is currently dominating the ad-driven streaming video space.

Like YouTube, IGTV will focus its spotlight on its brightest stars allowing you to uncover new channels and personas that appeal to your specific interests. You’ll be able to pop from regular Instagram to IGTV with the press of a button on the app’s homescreen, and IGTV will retain a lot of the look and feel of traditional Instagram.

The differentiating factor between them is that everyone will be given access to vertical videos, not just the social media’s elite. This will allow for more immersion, Instagram hopes, and longer sessions than the traditional app has allowed. 

Will Instagram become the new YouTube?

What you'll see when you first open up IGTV is a full screen video – something that has been curated for you – behind a row of tabs. These tabs contain other recommended videos that are sorted in a number of different ways ('For You', 'Following', 'Popular', etc...) and you can swap between channels by touching any of the videos that you see on the screen.

While you're watching the videos, you can comment, share or like without leaving the full-screen video mode – a property Instagram seems to have borrowed from its parent company, Facebook.

Uploading a video is as simple as going to the profile screen and selecting a video from your camera roll, just like you would've done with the original Instagram. 

The IGTV app will be available globally on iOS and Android, and is accessible through Instagram app through the TV icon located above Stories.

Source: Instagram

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.