The next big thing in TV?

When it comes to content, I’m like a bad drug dealer who gets high off my own supply…kinda. I’m a YouTuber and the platform is my main choice of media consumption. It just gets it right and it’s 1Billion active creators proves that it sits on the throne of video based platforms. There are some competition. Some still around and some who just didn’t make it. RIP Vine.

In case you missed it, there’s a “new” player in town as of the 20th of June 2018. IGTV… that’s right. “IG” as in “Instagram”. They launched their own video based platform 2 days ago. In short, they describe it as “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators…”.

IGTV has its own standalone app that’s currently available for download on both iOS and Android. It can also be accessed with one click from the Instagram app. I didn’t hesitate to download it and will make use of it in the hopes of making a comprehensive review.

For now though, this is what we know…

Audience – The platform takes all of it’s 1 billion users over to this new video platform so it basically hits the ground running…FAST! This means that if you’re already an IG user, you automatically have an IGTV account too. Kinda like Google and YouTube, you know?

Channels – Just like conventional TV, it has channels. Only with IGTV, those channels aren’t high production companies but users. So, if you’re on IG, you basically have your own channel already. Upon the first launch, you’d automatically be logged in (assuming you have only one account). After that, it just takes a few taps to set up your personal channel.

Video length – The video length is between 15 seconds and 5 mins for smaller creators and 1 hour for bigger ones respectively. As of today, there’s no number that defines what a “big” creator is. This means you can post videos in the average vlog length or that of full on feature films.

User Interface – With familiar gesture based navigation, it has a user friendly UI. You can choose between “For you”, “Following”, “Popular” or “Continue where you left off” tabs. Swipe downs to hide them and have an immersive vertical TV experience. Unlike the IG stories (which only allows you to pause), viewers can navigate through videos like they would on any media player. There’s a timeline that allows you to scroll through clips or jump 10s forward or back by just tapping the sides of your screen, a gesture that’s become quite natural with the popularization of Instagram stories.

Vertical – Probably the most dramatic difference this video based platform has in comparison to others is its native aspect ratio. Like Instagram’s stories, its TV add-on favours the 9×16 aspect ratio. Although this may be a little awkward to watch on computers because their conventional landscape orientated monitors, it’s clear that IGTV is intended for the mobile user. With implementations on other major platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, this aspect ratio is long pass the “catching on” phase. So, from a viewer’s perspective, there’s little to no adjustment necessary.

IGTV should be of encouragement to creators already avidly using the Instagram platform. I’m looking forward to record videos using my phone more with this one, although I will also be mindful of the cropping factor when recording in horizontal mode.

So that sums up what we know so far with regards to IGTV. What are your thoughts? Yay or Nay? Will you be using it or not at all?

Either way… I bet this one is going to stick around.

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