Let’s be honest – IGTV will never take over YouTube.
It’s cool. But it’s not that cool.
If you haven’t seen the update in your app already, Instagram launched a new video-based app ‘IGTV’ yesterday at their event in San Francisco. IGTV allows users to upload new long-form vertical videos, up to an hour long.
In the words of Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, “It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve.”
And by evolve, he means we need long-form, vertical video designed for mobile devices. While this may cater to many, Instagram will never be able to dethrone YouTube. Here’s a few simple reasons why:
YouTube is Google
Let’s start with the obvious here. YouTube is Google, and Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second – which equals 3.5 billion searches per day.
Google currently dominates search engines with a 78% market share of web search volume, followed by Baidu with 9.9%.
Here’s the kicker – on mobile devices, Google holds more than 90% market share. And with Google pushing incredibly hard to prioritize mobile first indexing, they may end up owning even more of that market down the road.
While YouTube and Google are separate platforms, Google will regularly bring up YouTube videos in search results. Google’s machine learning algorithm, RankBrain, is constantly learning to understand search intent.
And while Instagram’s 1 billion monthly users are sure to give Instagram insight on how to push relevant IGTV content to their users, it’s no match to Google’s advanced algorithms of 3.5 billion searches per day.
With the sheer number of people using Google Search, Gmail, G Suite, etc. it’s highly unlikely that Google will lose this battle, especially when they can push YouTube videos into search engine results pages and have the ultimate blueprints on how to build a video search algorithm.
YouTube already has vertical videos
YouTube wasn’t really optimized for vertical videos until last August when they launched vertical video support.
Yeah… YouTube did it first.
With a dynamic player that adjusts to your screen size, users can watch YouTube videos that are vertical, horizontal and even square. This gives video creators much more control over individual videos, whereas IGTV creators will be limited to purely vertical videos.
Not to mention, IGTV has been strictly labeled as being a video experience for mobile. Even though it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll be able to watch it on my desktop or Apple TV, it would probably make for a poor experience for non-mobile users anyway.
This is going to keep non-mobile video bingers on YouTube indefinitely.
IGTV is just an excuse to push more ads
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. Considering Facebook’s revenue model is purely based on ad revenue, IGTV is just a new way for the company to push more ads to more eyeballs.
And even though there’s currently no ads and no monetary compensation to creators, they’re hoping that more people will stay within the app for longer periods of time to watch content — eventually leading to future implementations of an IGTV ad program.
Another day, another update
Instagram is constantly playing with new ways for creators to use their platform. Only a few months ago did we see Instagram add more features to their Story ads, so it’s apparent that Instagram is looking to keep rolling out fresh features for users and advertisers.
Now I don’t know about you, but my attention is already spread thin between all my devices and internet activities. While it will be interesting to see the reception of IGTV and how it shapes social media marketing, for now I’ll just stick to my ritualistic YouTube grinds.