Instagram has announced a new app, IGTV, that launches tomorrow. The app is a mobile TV platform that takes elements from YouTube, Snapchat and other platforms and puts them all in one place.
Facebook stock is rocketing as the Wall Street smell more places that Facebook (Instagram’s owner) can put premium inventory prices on. More than that you can buy ads on Facebook, Messenger..pretty much any Facebook product (Whatsapp is ad-free for now).
Another app that young people will download thanks to the Facebook ecosystem that made Instagram famous in the first place. Additionally, the main Instagram app will feature a dedicated IGTV section (think Snap’s Discovery section).
User-generated content up to an hour, specifically made content for IGTV and probably series and re-runs eventually. Vertical video, lots of recommendations underneath and follow functionality from screenshots at the launch event. The real loser here is YouTube.
If Instagram gets creators over to IGTV with the right gloves and money it’ll cause YouTube a lot of headaches in the short and long term. Creators that are currently annoyed with the frequent changes happening on YouTube.
Equally, if Instagram snags original series content eyeballs with IGTV Netflix and Hulu will need to respond. Confirmed channels and people who will be on at launch include people like Kevin Hart, Kim Kardashian West, Selena Gomez, Lele Pons, Susie Shu to name a few.
Time will tell. At the launch event Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, told the crowd “video on mobile is clunky or unnatural” and “you want the best videos, not just ALL videos.”
His comments show one thing, video is broken. Is IGTV the solution? Maybe. Wall Street certainly thinks so but doesn’t always mean much with apps or content. The success of the Stories format suggests IGTV is a no-brainer but the separate app means people will need to be alerted to its presence (through the Instagram app that now has +1 billion monthly users and +2billion userbase of Facebook – if this doesn’t have 500m users in a year Facebook should fire its strategists).
IGTV app has some serious rocket fuel attached and a hungry beast behind it who needs more space to put ads. A powerful combination that, with the right content mix and onboarding strategy, could see IGTV become a disruptive force in less than 12 months should Facebook decided to pull the content lever and integrate Facebook Watch content and do further deals in the space.