The majority of Instagram users recall these challenging times when it was impossible to upload Instagram vertical nor landscape videos as the platform automatically used to cut them into a square format.
Videos longer than 15 seconds were also improbable to publish, yet back in 2016, Instagram increased this limit up to one minute. Two years later, in 2018, Instagram created IGTV - an in-app Instagram TV function and a standalone app available for iOS and Android, which wasn’t considered as a robust alternative to YouTube back then.
A lot has changed ever since, and now Instagram TV can be regarded as one of the full-fledged rivals of YouTube .
This piece reveals why IGTV can be rightfully considered as a primary video-sharing platform for creators and bloggers and how it can be a robust alternative to YouTube.
IGTV vs. YouTube: a compelling rivalry
With over a billion monthly active users on Instagram, more and more YouTube-native bloggers shift to IGTV day by day. There are a plethora of reasons why. One and, probably, the primary reason for this is a recent Instagram update focused on IGTV monetisation .
Yet, let’s consider some of them more precisely.
IGTV updates that compete with YouTube
After Instagram launched IGTV in Summer 2018, the lack of monetisation for creators was a significant drawback and a barrier for many YouTube bloggers. Video creation takes lots of time, and naturally, no creator wants to spend this time without a prospect for personal benefit. YouTube shares its revenue with creators, so bloggers logically used to choose it.
Yet, earlier this year, Instagram reconsidered its IGTV strategy, launched its IGTV monetisation programme and said:
‘You can earn money by running short ads on your IGTV videos. When you monetize on IGTV, you agree to follow the Partner Program Monetization Policies’.
In May 2020, Instagram announced that it’s been working on the next stage of the monetisation inserting ads into the videos of multiple creators selected to test the update. As Digiday reports, creators get 55% of the revenue from the ads, just like on YouTube.
Handy vertical video format and support of landscape video upload
Both YouTube and Instagram attract significant mobile traffic to their content, but unlike YouTube, Instagram leverages it at full pelt. IGTV supports vertical videos that can be watched screen-wide, not just as a small window at the top of your device.
Instagram also supports landscape video upload, so it won’t be difficult to publish a horizontal video on Instagram TV.
Ability to post previews on Instagram feed
In April this year, Instagram added IGTV videos preview to add to feed and stories. Now, after a creator shares its video in feed or stories, the IGTV clip is played for 15 seconds and then offers a viewer to continue watching the whole video in IGTV.
IGTV tab integration into the user’s Instagram profile and the Explore tab
Creators can add IGTV videos to their content grid to attract as many viewers among their followership as possible. And to boost discovery of the video, Instagram even allows users to find IGTV videos on the Explore page as the whole tab is also integrated there.
Other perks that might appeal to YouTube creators to choose IGTV is the simplicity of content creation as compared to YouTube. IGTV allows for easier video making due to its vertical viewing ability. You can shoot a video with your smartphone and share it without any profound editing, from your smartphone, too. No professional cameras, expensive mics, or heavy editing software is required.
The ranking algorithm plays to IGTV advantage. The algorithm ranks videos based on the percentage of users for each video. This means that only if your video caught people’s attention, it would have chances for better ranking. This makes the platform a very complicated one to ace.
Among some of the drawbacks of IGTV for creators, we can highlight IGTV’s lack of search engine optimisation and viewers’ comments available to the audience.
In the IGTV vs YouTube rivalry, there is no one winner. You should use the best features and benefits of each tool and build a strategy that has a place for both apps optimally. Almost all of Instagram’s newly introduced features have proved successful. IGTV is definitely one of the upcoming features.
To conclude, you must use both YouTube and IGTV if you intend to start a video blog or promote your services on the Internet. Each comes with its own benefits and can be used to serve different goals.
If you are looking at expanding your presence and engagement on Instagram, then you definitely should actively add IGTV videos in your grid.