When Instagram announced the launch of IGTV, the standalone app that allows people to post long-form vertical videos, the comparisons to YouTube inevitably followed. There’s no doubt that YouTube is the number one video sharing platform at the moment. YouTube is used by young users and professional content creators, and Instagram’s IGTV is not looking to replace it. YouTube already has a huge user base and it’s quite popular among content creators but the IGTV app could be the perfect complement.
IGTV is attracting a lot of celebrity creators. Analysts think that even though it will be a long time before any video sharing platform can compete with YouTube, creators may in fact start considering IGTV as their second home. In addition to this, analysts say that young people are relying on celebrity content creators for news and entertainment more than ever before. Instagram’s push to highlight these celebs and their content on IGTV could prove very attractive to the young audience.
It’s not a coincidence that IGTV has been using celebrity influencers like former Vine star and actor King Bach in its promotional videos. Other influencers like Roy Purdy have also been featured in the promo content. This is in line with IGTV’s strategy to target influencers for content creation. After all, it’s the influencers that attract viewers to any video sharing platform. It’s still important to make sure the quality of the sharing platform is good, but content is always king.
The popularity of IGTV has also been almost instant. So far, Instagram has revealed that it’s getting 800 million monthly users for the app and 500 million daily users. However, despite the potential of IGTV to become a real alternative to YouTube, the company has not yet explained how creators will be able to monetize their content. Content monetization is a very sensitive issue among creators. YouTube is already struggling with this and we don’t expect IGTV to have it easy.
However, IGTV offers additional value compared to YouTube. The app allows creators to build their audience better compared to YouTube. Nonetheless, at the moment, IGTV is not a place to make money with content and analysts are doubtful that this will change over the coming months. It will be interesting to see though the kind of incentive that content creators will get with IGTV. Although the potential for monetization will still remain a key factor in all this, there are other behind the scenes features that could be attractive to creators in the near future.
IGTV will also need to work on a content diversification plan. YouTube has perhaps the most diversified content in the market, and this has taken years to build. We don’t expect IGTV to just walk over these challenges. Despite this, it has been a pretty good launch for the app. It may not be even close to YouTube in many things but it does have the potential to offer content creators a real alternative if and when they need it.