Instagram challenges YouTube with IGTV, a new app for creators

Instagram challenges YouTube with IGTV, a new app for creators

Instagram is making its next move.Photo by: Image: Getty Images

Instagram is getting serious about challenging YouTube.

Today, the company announced IGTV, Instagram’s new initiative that lets users create standalone video channels for longform video.

IGTV is launching now in the Instagram app and will also be available as a standalone app for iOS and Android “in the coming days.”

Unlike YouTube, IGTV is just for full-screen, vertical videos. But like YouTube, the service is open to anyone who wants to make a dedicated channel. users can follow channels and interact with video creators via comments.

“This is really an evolution of our mission from day one,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said at a press event in San Francisco.

“Long form vertical video from the creators you love. It’s mobil first, it’s simple.”

IGTV is Instagram’s most significant new feature to date.

For the Facebook-owned service, it’s increasingly important to chip away at YouTube’s dominance in video.

Like YouTube, Instagram also has a large community of influential users with large followings. But right now, the only way for those users to post extended videos is to go live, but live videos don’t work for every occasion and, most importantly for Instagram, don’t contain ads.

Launching a dedicated space for longer form video solves both these problems as creators can share longer, more produced videos on Instagram, which can then monetize them.

On a more existential level, it also could help lure some of Instagram’s most sought-after users to spend more time in Instagram and less time n YouTube. Although Instagram remains popular, YouTube is now the most popular social network among U.S. teens, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.

That’s a worrying trend for Facebook, which has seen its core app decline in popularity with teens over the last few years. Which may help explain why Instagram’s IGTV and Facebook’s new game show-like live videos are suddenly so attractive.

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