Will Instagram’s IGTV find its base on YouTube’s territory?

After replicating Snapchat’s features such as stories and self-deleting photo messages, Instagram now seems to be going after Google’s video sharing & viewing platform- YouTube. There were rumours of it being launched in early or mid-July, but the app has already rolled out this feature in most handsets. This, of course, is a step up from its original video format of 60 seconds and stories that lasted for 15 seconds. The question being asked is, whether IGTV- the video feature that allows you to publish videos that are up to 1-hr long, can compete with the already established giant.

We have seen the dent Instagram created in Snapchat’s user base. What made it worse however, was the upgraded unfriendly interface of Snapchat. Yes, Instagram has a base of 1 billion users and although it is half of what YouTube has, it is growing rapidly. Just look at the number of bloggers, artists, gym rats, fashion and lifestyle influencers, Musically ‘artists’ and even YouTubers who have amassed a mass following. Budding video artists who should otherwise flock to YouTube are now using the photo app to express and spread a word. Same is the case with already established vloggers.

There’s not much on the app as of now with respect to IGTV, but Facebook might reveal newer features in the coming days. Instagram is also making changes to it’s ‘Explore’ tab with segregated photo and video updates. From the way people are moving to or spending more time on Instagram, it looks like the app is on the verge of becoming the next biggest thing after Facebook. In fact, many think that Facebook is dying and it’s about time that Instagram takes its place. That’s not just because of IGTV or the ‘explore’ tab but because soon enough, Instagram is expected to introduce a lot of newer upgrades.

About IGTV, there are a  few questions that are unanswered. To begin with, we don’t know how Instagram would compete with YouTube when it comes to YouTube’s revenue-sharing format. This incentivising by YouTube can prevent the popular, money-making YouTubers from moving to IGTV. It however is a great platform for sponsored branded content. Another question is- what is more convenient, YouTube’s horizontal form or IGTV’s vertical video format? Or are we making a shift from landscape mode to portrait mode? Will Instagram introduce in-display and stream ads like YouTube? The main question that awaits an answer is- will IGTV take away some of YouTube’s content creators, advertisers and consumers and create a space for itself?

What we know though is that Instagram is rapidly evolving. More people are flocking to the app and soon it will not just be a space for 18-25 year olds. The group that has just started to get accustomed to Facebook might take some time to get move on to this app. It doesn’t like it is going to be about Instagram against YouTube anymore. They are likely to take on other popular apps as well. It won’t be surprising however, if Instagram becomes the next Facebook in the near future.

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