Instagram wants to make vertical video cool with IGTV

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There was a time when video filmed in portrait was widely regarded as the worst way to film something, but Instagram changed that when it launched stories and video.

Five years later and video filmed in portrait mode is everywhere and it could become more widespread as Instagram launches IGTV.

The platform differs from Instagram in that creators are able to upload long form videos similar to YouTube, but all videos will all be in a “vertical format”.

“We are re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand,” wrote Instagram in a blog announcing IGTV.

The app is free to download and use and you can link IGTV to your existing Instagram account.

The user interface is very reminiscent of Instagram though viewers have greater control over video. For instance you can search or browse for another video while one plays and if you, like us, get easily side-tracked you can always come back to a video by way of the “Continue Watching” tab.

There doesn’t appear to be a way to change the resolution of the video you’re watching.

There are already a number of creators making videos for IGTV including celebs like Kim Kardashian and, curiously, YouTubers such as Marques Brownlee of MKBHD fame. Instagram says that if you follow an creator on the photo sharing network their IGTV channel will be suggested to you.

So, is IGTV a YouTube killer?

Frankly it’s too soon to and given that YouTube has been messing creators around with rampant demonetisation, shutting down of channels and more so a new option for creators can’t be a bad thing.

We’re even willing to put our hate of portrait videos aside to give it a real chance to impress us.

IGTV is available now for both Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.