Instagram started the war with YouTube

Instagram has launched support for video clips lasting more than an hour. Will the photoblog be able to attract users accustomed to YouTube in the struggle for the multibillion-dollar video advertising market.
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In the fight for the growing mobile video market Instagram launched a new function IGTV with video clips up to an hour. IGTV (short for Instagram and TV) is a new application for viewing long videos from Instagram authors. In addition to a separate application, the clips from it are available directly in Instagram: to start it is enough to update Instagram and click on the icon in the upper right corner. IGTV is available to iOS and Android users.

A big difference

Unlike regular Instagram-videos, video in IGTV - vertical and full-screen. The recommended duration of the videos is 10 minutes, and users with a large number of subscribers can post video for up to an hour. In the future, the service plans to allow video with unlimited duration, said Instagram head Kevin Systrom. In IGTV there will be no static images, "stories" and news feed.

As with turning on the TV, the video in IGTV starts playing immediately after the function or application starts. The user immediately sees the content from the accounts to which he is subscribed, or the recommended videos based on his interests. He can switch between channels, "like", comment and send clips to friends in private messages.

First Instagram positions IGTV as a site with content from "influenza" - opinion leaders, including Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez, and from media companies, such as National Geographic and Vice.

But not only celebrities, but also ordinary users, can create content for IGTV. To do this, just click on your profile photo in the IGTV application or on the settings icon in IGTV inside Instagram, create your own channel and start publishing the video. At the same time, IGTV does not provide any special functions for video editing, so it will either have to be limited to the built-in camera, or to edit the content in third-party applications.

Why Instagram

By launching new functions for watching videos, Instagram is clearly striving to become the main platform for mobile video and to get ahead of its main competitor, YouTube. Small rollers - and until now Instagram set a limit of 1 minute - this was not enough.

According to Ooyala, the growth rate of watching videos on mobile is gradually stabilizing. At the same time, there remains an area in which users increase their activity at high rates - these are long clips with a duration of 20 minutes. For example, until the end, mobile users now watch 57% of video for between 20 and 40 minutes and 45% of videos lasting 40 minutes.

YouTube with 1.9 billion users is still dominating the long video market. But Instagram, whose user base exceeded 1 billion, with the help of IGTV can potentially cut off the video service Google "piece of pie". An interesting parallel: for $ 1 billion Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. And now this is the main weapon for the social network in the struggle for the next billion users.

Money is another incentive to launch IGTV. Already, 72% of consumers prefer branded video to text ads. At the same time, mobile video advertising accounted for 72% of the increase in spending on online video advertising, and its share in this market, according to Forrester Research forecast, will increase from 50% in 2018 to 59% in 2023.

Naturally, for Instagram this market is more than attractive. While IGTV will not advertise, but it will become a "reasonable end point," Systrom said. According to him, in the end an agreement will be reached with partners on the distribution of income, but at first the service will not be monetized.

YouTube Strikes Back

Home to date, the online video platform to give up, too, is not going to. The very next day after the announcement of IGTV YouTube also announced a number of new features that hit just the weakest point of the novelty from Instagram - monetization.

First, owners of YouTube channels with more than 100,000 subscribers will be able to sell "membership" - in fact, they can invite fans to sponsor the channel for $ 4.99 per month in exchange for exclusive badges and live streams (online broadcasts), posts only for members community and so on. Secondly, they will be able to sell fans 20 brands of branded attributes directly from YouTube. This function was previously only available to selected channels in the test mode, but now it is launched for all channels in the US with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Finally, this is the function of "Premiere", which allows you to promote the future of the video through a special page. The authors will be able to show the pre-recorded video as "live" (online), and fans during this "premiere" will be able to communicate with each other and with the author in real time.

These new items represent new opportunities for YouTube bloggers not only to communicate with fans, but also - what is important - to monetize content without advertising. This Instagram to its authors so far can not offer. So far, YouTube has won only the first round, showing its superiority as a platform where the authors of the video can earn on their creativity.

Despite this, several popular Instagram bloggers have already announced plans to release the series on the IGTV platform. Among them - Lily Pons (Lele Pons), actress and singer from Venezuela with more than 25 million subscribers to Instagram. She plans to launch a new culinary show on IGTV, but will continue to publish weekly videos on YouTube. Most likely, other video content creators will follow suit: do not put all the eggs in one basket until Instagram presents a clear strategy for monetizing IGTV, it seems a reasonable solution.

The struggle between the two sites is beneficial to both content creators and the audience. The first will have a choice, where to communicate with fans and earn, and the second - at least long vertical video.