What is IGTV: Everything you need to know about Instagram’s latest video platform


Instagram has come a long way since its early days. Initially started as a social network where people share personal moments in the form of pictures with their friends, Instagram eventually expanded into video, instant messages, and stories – which was nothing but a blatant rip-off of Snapchat’s popular disappearing stories feature.

Over the last couple of years, Instagram has catered to a lot of content creators and celebrities to help them reach a wider audience using videos. Let me come straight to the point: Videos always tend to have a greater engagement rate as compared to photos, and Instagram has addressed this shifting paradigm from time to time.

The Facebook-owned app, Instagram initially came in with a whole new concept for videos, which was meant to compete with the likes of Vine. Then Instagram eventually stretched the boundaries of the duration of videos and allowed users to share 1-minute longer videos. Similarly, the live videos feature was blunt enough to take on Periscope.

But now, Instagram has a whole new, standalone app altogether called IGTV to let users watch up to one hour long videos. I tried using IGTV on my Android smartphone to see what Instagram has got to offer this time around. In this story, I have tried to answer all the basic queries you might have about the new Instagram IGTV video app:

What is Instagram IGTV?

As mentioned above, IGTV is a stand-alone app to watch longer, vertical videos from your favourite Instagram creators. It seems to offer a whole new video streaming experience on-the-go. Videos are full screen and vertical, which aims to offer an authentic mobile experience while watching videos.

Is Instagram IGTV available for both Android and iOS users?

Yes, Instagram IGTV app is available to download for both Android and iOS users. Android users can head to Google Play Store and search for the app. The app is owned by Instagram. So watch out for an original app. Similarly, iOS users can go to App Store, search for the app and download it instantly on their device.

How to get started with IGTV?

Getting started with IGTV is easy. Simply head to Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the app on your mobile. Once it downloads, open the app. If you already have Instagram app signed-in on your phone, you get an option to sign into IGTV with the same account. Log into your account and you are done!

What are the main options you get inside IGTV app?

By default, the main screen auto-plays some videos from the accounts you already follow on Instagram. The app shows different tabs like For You, Following, Popular, Continue Watching etc. The Popular tab shows videos that are most-watched across Instagram. If you skipped videos in between, you can continue from where you left off using Continue Watching tab.

How is IGTV different from Instagram?

Unlike a traditional Instagram app, IGTV is all about letting users watch longer videos. So users can watch up to one-hour videos without any interruptions. IGTV also reduces the number of distractions caused by pictures and random stories. Users will only be able to watch videos from accounts they follow on Instagram.

Is Instagram IGTV app free to download and watch videos?

Just like Instagram, IGTV is free to download for both Android and iOS users. The app is also free to use. Meaning, you don’t have to pay anything to continue watching videos from your favourite content creators on the platform. But it is not known at the moment if Instagram is planning to announce a paid, subscription-based model like YouTube Red in the future.

Who is Instagram trying to compete with and why?

It is kind of obvious, isn’t it? By announcing IGTV, Instagram has flagged off a competition with YouTube. The Google-owned video-sharing platform currently has a massive user base with users streaming billions of videos every day. YouTube also has a live-streaming feature, which Instagram IGTV may add in the coming days.

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