Instagram TV Is Here! What Does This Mean For YouTube?


Video content online has long replaced TV as a source of information and entertainment especially amongst the younger generation.

That was the message sent across by Instagram Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom during yesterday’s glitzy launch of IGTV in San Francisco.

IGTV Arrives

IGTV is Instagram’s new mobile app which allows users to watch hour-long videos of their favourite social media celebrities or upload their own.

“Teens are now watching 40% less TV than they did five years ago. And on Instagram, people are watching 60% more video in just the last year,” Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram

Source: Instagram Press

Although this is not the first time that Instagram rolled out this kind of service, as it already came out with a platform for 15-second videos, this one now puts it head-to-head with YouTube.

However, Systrom has managed to take a sideswipe at the competition when he remarked:

“The tools we use to watch videos are old and out of date. Think about it. Today we still watch videos formatted for a TV on a vertical screen, which means we either have to rotate our phone awkwardly or watch a tiny version. And that doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?” Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram

IGTV might just get ahead of YouTube as it directly addresses how and what people watch.

Built on the “mobile first” principle, IGTV presents videos in vertical format as people would normally hold their phones vertically.

According to Ashley Yuki, product manager at Instagram, the new app plays video in full screen so there’s no wasted space.

“…they aren’t restricted to the same one-minute limit that you’re used to on Instagram. Everything is longer; you get the full thing,” Ashley Yuki, Product manager, Instagram

READ MORE: Will Instagram Become The YouTube Replacement For Digital Marketers?

What Does This Mean For eCommerce?

Right now is the best time for you and your business to start experimenting with IGTV and utilising the hype that will be around IGTV.

YouTube is still the market leader when looking at video content with the numbers from May 2018 suggesting they have 1.8 Billion monthly active users.

However 1 Billion active monthly users is not an audience to ignore and with this new vertical video layout could really appeal to the younger generation who are increasingly becoming your target market.

With Instagram also leading the way with their shoppable posts this could mean in time we see a synergy between IGTV and eCommerce too.

The IGTV app is already available on Android and iOS app stores.

What do you think about IGTV is it a gimmick or could it be the video platform to dethrone YouTube? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook Group.

For almost 10 years Dave has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant it was the opportunity to start UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne showing the world how to utilize Magento as the Third Generation of Multi-Channel software. Dave also recently started a YouTube channel called the Manc Entrepreneur (click YouTube icon link below to watch Dave's videos) where he discusses all things eCommerce and entrepreneurship aimed to help young entrepreneurs get started on their own journey. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include, Technology, Cars and throwing himself off high things into water.


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