The mention of vertical videos, let alone taking them, can make any traditional videographer cringe (or worse puke his guts out). Regardless, vertical videos are here to stay. Embracing the very thing video creators scoffed at, Instagram has launched IGTV – a new dedicated app for long form, vertical video.
Before we get into the why of Instagram’s move, let’s explore why vertical videos are “a thing.”
Simple: mobile phones. The advent of mobile devices, twiddle-thumb culture and social media has inevitably birthed this initially-mocked video format. Why? Because it’s natural to hold our phones in a vertical orientation, and thus with a vertical orientated screen, visuals are more optimised.
It’s the same way how Instagram and Snapchat Stories work, and even content platforms like Netflix have embraced the format.
From our CEO Kevin Systrom (instagram.com/kevin)“Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you!Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (instagram.com/laurdiy) posting her newest project to King Bach (instagram.com/kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start.IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.We strived to make it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love.”IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.
Posted by Instagram on Wednesday, June 20, 2018
So, back to the development. Instagram announced IGTV at an event in San Francisco, featuring many of the Instagram’s popular creators.
The standalone IGTV app allows you to watch long-form, vertical videos but also accessible from within the Instagram app, by clicking on the IGTV icon.
How is IGTV different from run-of-the-mill Instagram then? For one, videos aren’t limited to one minute. In fact, they can be up to an hour long.
Also, Instagram says that using IGTV is like turning on the TV. Videos start playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow. Or even others you might like based on your interests.
You can swipe up to discover more. Switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular and “Continue Watching.”
Like Instagram, you can like, comment and also send videos to friends in Direct.
The creators you follow are “channels.” When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to tune in.
To be a creator, there’s no special process nor requirement. Anyone can start creating vertical videos and be an IGTV creator. Go ahead, start now.
Instagram sees competition to YouTube would ultimately benefit the video creator community in the long run. YouTube currently has over 1.8 billion users, while Instagram at 1 billion.
It’s interesting to note that 72 percent of US kids aged 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second to YouTube at 85 percent. Facebook is becoming the social media platform for the aged, with only 51 percent of the aforementioned kids using the platform, down from 71 percent in 2014-2015.
This may be why Facebook, owners of Instagram, is hedging its bets on IGTV.
Is vertical video the future? It appears to be so.