Instagram and IGTV: What is it and how does the new video feature work?

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Instagram has come a hell of a long way since it first launched eight years ago. From pictures in chronological order to people being distraught when videos were first added. While we still don’t have chronological order back, we have IGTV.

With Instagram TV (IGTV) having come online this month, we thought it would be worth explaining what the hell it is and what Instagram is trying to do with it.

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Instagram vs YouTube: What is IGTV?

IGTV is a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators. Whether it’s DIY or a comedy skit, creators now can make videos up to an hour long.

Ok, so it’s a new app but still part of Instagram?

While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app. With over 1 billion people now using Instagram, Facebook, who owns the platform, seems to be pushing all of its focus in that direction.

IGTV is described as “different in a few ways”. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical.

With vertical video seen as the future of video and content creation, the company seems to believe it has got it down to a tee.

“We’ve made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. 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 up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.”

Similarly to TV, IGTV has channels. The difference? The content creators are the channels. As soon as you follow someone on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up with their videos.

Is IGTV only for professional creators?

No, if you want to upload one hour of you singing to the camera, you can do so. Anyone can upload to IGTV via the app or even start their own channel on the web. Always wanted to be a daily vlogger but could never afford a camera? Cameras are useless on this platform, it’s all about your phone.

How to get IGTV?

Whether you’re on Android or iOS, you may have noticed that you have IGTV already. If your Instagram app has updated recently, you should see an IGTV button in the top right of your screen.

If you want to keep things separate, you can head over to the Google Play Store or App Store to download the IGTV app itself.

Will YouTube fight back?

With Facebook no longer that popular among young people, the push to brand more content with adds has played a big part in IGTV. With YouTube, people get paid some of the ad revenue for their videos, IGTV intends to follow the same method.

The longer a video is, Instagram will put a few second ad video in between. The promise of extra revenue has also appealed to creators who will now be more drawn to Instagram.

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