Instagram’s IGTV is basically YouTube, sans money-making

By: | Published: June 22, 2018 7:34 PM

IGTV is a simple app, to begin with, that immediately starts playing videos from the pages you follow. So the content creators can directly post a video on IGTV that will be available to the subscribers.

Instagram earlier this week announced its new standalone app called IGTV

Instagram earlier this week announced its new standalone app called IGTV that will focus on long-form videos. This is not quite different from the main Instagram app except that you will only see videos from the content creators. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that IGTV equals the TV at your home that you begin watching after turning it on, unlike the other video apps that require an effort to search for the video and then play it. This is an attack in disguise on YouTube, which dominates the long-form video space in India and elsewhere.

IGTV is a simple app, to begin with, that immediately starts playing videos from the pages you follow. So the content creators can directly post a video on IGTV that will be available to the subscribers. While those videos will also be available on the Instagram main app, IGTV makes them better by isolating them from the photo clutter. The videos, however, have to be in the portrait mode. You can comment, like, and share the videos by swiping up the overlaid controls.

While YouTube has been on the frontier for most content creators to post long-form videos, Instagram has seldom been a choice for small videos. With IGTV, the Facebook-owned app is looking to counter YouTube where the content creators can post up to 10 minutes long videos – this limit will be extended for some big brand pages to up to 1 hour. CEO Systrom added during this keynote that the time limit will be entirely removed and the content creators will be able to post videos of whatever length they want.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV does not presently support any monetisable model such as allowing creators to run ads on the videos to make money. However, the company will pilot a revenue-sharing model later because that’s the most likely place where it would end. YouTube incentivises the page owner with a portion of the revenue generated from the advertisements. However, the content creators have time and again criticised the company for giving peanuts in the name of revenue.

YouTube has announced that it will give more diverse revenue options to the video uploaders with more than 100,000 followers. These content creators can now start paid fan clubs and sell merchandise to the followers to get more revenue. They can even start paid memberships to offer some exclusive content, which would otherwise not be available to the followers under the free-tier.

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