A Closer Look at Instagram’s Newest Platform: Instagram TV (IGTV)


This past June, Instagram took a stab at owning a piece of the video-market pie, officially releasing Instagram TV (IGTV). This stand-alone, user-friendly app seamlessly integrates between the existing IG platform. Upon installing the IGTV app, the systems allows you to link to your existing Instagram account, automatically “importing” your connections.

There has been no lack of chatter in the social media realm regrading IGTV and how it stacks up to YouTube’s capabilities. Let’s take a look at some of IGTV’s key features to see how it compares it to its Goliath; YouTube.


IGTV is built with a mobile-first, and mobile only format in mind. “Creators”, or contributors film content in a vertical, full screen format which embraces the way people naturally hold their devices. This format is vastly different from YouTube’s horizontal format which continues to be the industry standard for not only bloggers and video producers, but also the standard for high-quality (4K) video cameras.

Time Allowance

IGTV allows creators to upload up to ten continuous minutes of content. More popular IGTV accounts can upload up to one hour of content. YouTube’s default max length is 15 minutes but can be easily be extended. Currently, the longest YouTube video is 571 hours, 1 minute and 41 seconds – which translates to 23 days of constant steaming. Video length is a major factor to which platform can accommodate user’s needs. If you have longer content, YouTube is the clear choice.

Constant Streaming

Upon opening the IGTV, video begins playing in the background from users that Instagram thinks might be relevant to you – similar to a standard television. There is no need to type a topic in the search bar. Users have the option to browse sections titled “For You”, “Following,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching”. To see content on YouTube, users must search for content specifically or click on recommended videos or channels users are subscribed.

Although IGTV and YouTube both offer content creators a platform to broadcast their stories and create a community of followers, there are several factors that diversify and differentiate the two; but both appear to be strong platforms options. Both platform’s future successes rely heavily on capturing the attention of influencers, creators, and the larger community. No matter which platform is used, at the end of the day, content remains king.

Sources: 1, 2






Monica Hickey