Instagram has recently released a new feature on their social platform, called IGTV. This new feature allows users to watch video content in the app with videos lasting to a maximum of one hour. The previous video limit of Instagram was one-minute long videos, so this new feature allows for Instagram users to view and produce videos with more content involved. The feature seems to be Instagram’s version of YouTube, allowing users to subscribe to certain content that they want to see.
This feature, while sticking to Instagram’s main goal of connecting people to other people and their content, is very different to what the platform is currently doing. This new feature, I believe, will change how people use Instagram, potentially switching the shift of user engagement from photo posts and short video clips to longer, more advanced video consumption. IGTV could cause a big change in the way users think of Instagram.
This new feature is an example of different types of social media platforms adapting features from others. This specific feature seems really similar to YouTube’s video production and interface, allowing users to subscribe to specific content. This has been done before, like when Facebook introduced a “story” setting similar to Instagram. This crossover, I believe, will become more and more popular, as social media analysts see what features engage audiences most efficiently. One downfall of this, however, is the idea of differentiation. With platforms becoming more similar on what types of activities are offered, it may become harder for each platform to “stand out”. I think this will become more of a challenge for social platforms if this trend grows.
It will be interesting to see how Instagram tries to differentiate itself from other video content platforms with this new feature. Being so similar to other video platforms, it will be interesting on how IGTV will be unique and different.