Has IGTV killed YouTube?

What's the one tool celebrities, bloggers and influencers rely on to promote themselves?


From short-form, few-second video clips to longer daily vlogs, video is a great way to creatively market your content to the right audience. There are lots of video sharing sites such as VimeoDailymotion and Facebook, and YouTube comes out as one of the most popular with over 1.8 billion monthly active users – but this might be about to change, with the introduction of Instagram TV (IGTV).

IGTV is Instagram’s newest feature which lets creators upload videos of up to 60 minutes. 

Gone are the days of short-form video posts of 60 seconds. Video content is an engaging way to reach out to your audience. With the help of cheaper and more ubiquitous video editing platforms, software and apps, it's never been easier to publish a video. It's now also super simple to add special effects, text and pictures to keep your audience engaged.

How does IGTV work?

You can access IGTV directly from the Instagram app or from the IGTV app itself. The ease of accessibility means the new platform will appeal to Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users. And although YouTube and Facebook video trump Instagram in number of active users, IGTV may be a real threat to the long-loved video sharing platform. Here’s why:

IGTV works in a vertical video format, as opposed to the standard horizontal. This makes it easy for viewers to watch on mobile devices – something many people now prefer

Similar to ‘actual’ television, IGTV starts playing as soon as you switch it on. You can then browse through categories such as ‘for you’, ‘following’ and ‘popular’ videos. Users who upload onto IGTV are called ‘creators’ – and anyone can become one. Just like television, we’re able to flick through channels, on IGTV you can flick through creators to find what you’re looking for. 

IGTV videos can be shared easily with the tap of a button, exactly the same as the direct messaging feature. YouTube can sometimes be prefaced with adverts that can’t be skipped, however on IGTV, there aren’t any adverts as of yet, making for a more seamless and immersive experience.

Is YouTube in trouble?

All this makes for a more modern video consumption experience compared to YouTube. The integration of social media and long-form video could mark the start of the transition from standalone video sharing sites to blended social media applications that contain social posts and also long-form programming like Netflix. 

YouTube’s loyal users may not adopt the new IGTV as the ‘best’ or the ‘norm’ as it’s home to many famous vloggers who upload daily, weekly or monthly to keep their armies of fans up to date. Unparalleled to YouTube, Instagram has a very short upload and publishing few-second process which beats YouTube’s lengthy mechanism that can take up to hours. However, from subscriber count to number of video views, YouTube provides active YouTubers real time analytics of video and account performance which makes it a useful video platform for users to improve their marketing strategy and bring in revenue.

IGTV, in turn, also offers a vast set of data analytics that will help creators improve their videos and create a better content strategy, however there’s no monetisation incentive for creators with popular videos. Creators used to receiving income may feel reluctant to risk this by switching to IGTV and may use this as a reason to stay put on YouTube. 

However, it’s expected, like other platforms, creators with significant resources will give IGTV a try, dipping their toes in the water and maintaining a presence.

IGTV may not have gained the credibility to compete with YouTube as a heavyweight video platform just yet, but it could certainly be a contender in the future.

At the moment, IGTV works in conjunction with YouTube. YouTube’s active user counts suggest that it’ll be the prominent video platform for quite some time, despite the introduction of IGTV. As both platforms have significant differences, it could be argued they appeal to different demographics. If IGTV becomes an established video sharing platform, only then will we see how Youtube responds, be that in playing catch-up to IGTV's features set or more proactive incentives to keep popular content creators from jumping ship.

Get in touch today if you’re looking to produce high quality videos for your business.

Jaina Parmar