Instagram Killed the YouTube Star

Not that long ago, Instagram was enhanced with story highlights and live video feeds, and even had the ability to add multiple users to live video. In an effort to now claim even more media features, Instagram has added longer format videos to its arsenal. With this addition, IGTV was given life and is already being utilized by influencers and creators from all over the social-media sphere. Just like many other Instagram additions, IGTV has a stand-alone app, or can be utilized within the Instagram homebase.

The two major features of IGTV are the hefty allowance of one hour’s worth of recording time and a vertical video format that is more “natural” for phone users (thousands of voices yelling to hold the phone sideways may just be silenced from here on out). Both of these features combined on this already active platform seems to be aiming to topple one of the video platform giants; YouTube.

So the biggest question is, “will IGTV win the (social video platform) game of thrones or will it fall by the way side?” YouTube has been squabbling with content creators for years about the “adpocolypse” and the ever-so-fearsome algorithm. For some time now, most content creators have been noticing inconsistent views of their videos, and a mystery amount of ad revenue getting funneled to big name influencers like Jake Paul (ugh) or Logan Paul (UGH). Some brands and channels pumping out original content are doing fine, but many of the channels that call YouTube home have been getting fluctuating engagement and viewership. Many might recognize who their core audience is and jump ship to IGTV in order to connect with them on a more personal level. Instagram might offer more than just a platform to house these videos; it will offer that sweet, sweet engagement.

This might be a BIG thing for advertising. IGTV is another way for brands to connect with their audience. Now anyone can share their day-to-day happenings with stories and highlights, cover live events with Instagram live, and house their longer form and more thought-out video creations on a platform that everyone is already following.

So, will IGTV shake and bake ahead of YouTube, or will it only make a small ripple in the social landscape and become just another feature? Will the ease of phone-captured, vertical video replace large productions? I doubt that brands and clients will opt out of well-shot videos and well-oiled production shoots for simple videos that are shot with a phone, but I do think IGTV will gain traction. Instagram is more focused on the social aspect of media, and it garners more engagement with and for brands (YouTube comment sections can be a terrible Mad Max style wasteland sometimes). While I expect that influencers, brands, creatives and many others will leverage themselves using the IGTV feature due to its built-in audience and minimal shooting requirements, there will still be a need for bigger productions on more heavy duty video work, which they will likely house on IGTV after the fact.

Live video and highlights have been very popular on Instagram (sorry Snapchat) as the platform is already populated and integrated with brands. It might come down to a factor of convenience if shooting/posting long-form video on Instagram becomes an everyday thing, or just something only a handful of brands and influencers utilize.

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