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Instagram takes on YouTube with new video channel

Launch of IGTV

If you find yourself frustrated by the short time limit of Instagram Stories and videos, then you'll be pleased by Instagram's latest announcement: the launch of IGTV. That's right, Instagram TV. This exciting new tool lets you watch and share videos of up to an hour in length. 

Using IGTV, you can watch longform vertical video either within the Instagram app or on the dedicated new IGTV app. As a tool for graphic designers, we think it could prove interesting...

How does IGTV work?

The new feature starts playing as soon as you open the app – just like when you turn on the TV –  and you can watch videos from those you already follow on Instagram on their 'channel' (sound familiar?) or choose channels or videos from sections such as Popular or For You. 

You can also send and receive videos via direct message, and like and comment as you would on your usual Instagram feed.

IGTV interface

The interface for IGTV, with the video playing full-screen and suggestions below

How can creatives use IGTV?

This feature offers another way for designers on Instagram to reach their followers, and could end up being another way for creatives to make money on the platform. Like with YouTube, users could use it to showcase step-by-step tutorials, make promotional videos of their work or create video diaries of life as a designer. 

At the moment, it isn't clear whether there will be ads within the platform, but as Instagram now has over a billion users, it seems likely that creatives will be able to monetise content on IGTV in future.

Users will also be able to link out to other content in the description of their videos, a feature that many will likely find useful (the ban on live links within photo captions has long been a frustration for Insta-fans).

Note that smaller accounts or those new to Instagram won't be able to use IGTV just yet, but Instagram says there are plans to change this in future.

IGTV interface

The full-screen video of early adopter of the platform, Stefan Kunz

Should I start using IGTV?

If you've already got a lot of followers on Instagram, we think it's worth becoming an early adopter of IGTV. You never know where it might lead you. If you're a prolific YouTuber with a loyal following on YouTube, you'll probably want to wait a bit longer to see how IGTV pans out, and what features are added, before you decide if it's worth switching over.

Overall, it seems that the vertical orientation of videos and the potential for highly curated content for each user may be the main pull over YouTube, but as with any new feature, we'll just have to wait and see if IGTV takes off. We have a feeling that it will.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is the deputy editor of Creative Bloq. Before joining the CB team in 2018, she worked on a range of print titles, including Time Out Buenos Aires, Computer Arts, 3D World, Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.