Instagram is ready to compete head on with YouTube. Today at a flashy event in San Francisco, the company announced it will begin allowing users to upload videos up to 1 hour in length, up from the previous 1 minute limit. And to house the new longer-form videos from content creators and the general public, Instagram is launching IGTV. Accessible from a button inside the Instagram homescreen as well as a standalone app, IGTV will spotlight popular videos from Instagram celebrities.
Bolddfaced emphasis added by me.
YouTube better be all this today:
Just this week I wrote:
Microcasting is the growth market for original video. Because it will be possible to get a billion viewers. Everyone carries a cellphone. And that’s the future of watching: The cellphone, during “down” time. Not getting home to use up what otherwise is called time for life to sit and rot away watching something that’s inevitably going to disappoint. (And yes, I know there are people who try to watch current series on their cellphones. They surround me on the ferry. Poor sods!)
And I had absolutely no idea IGTV was on its way.
And if YouTube is having a chuckle over IGTV, it’s probably due to amnesia brought on by smugness.
Here’s not too long ago: Meet the 30 top Vine stars in the world
Forget 15 minutes of fame. Ever since its launch three years ago, Vine’s stars have used its six-second videos to make a name for themselves, and now some are experimenting with the social network’s new 140-second video limit.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Six seconds! Six! And people snort to my face when I talk about microcasting today! I should have played the Vine card earlier!
What happened to Vine? Well, Twitter bought it. The Kiss of Death.
Back in the early 1980s, over a billion dollars was sunk into teletext and videotex. They were going to herald The Information Age. Each could deliver text with color and graphics. But both also needed specialized equipment for reception. Like today’s wired TV requires a cable box. I worked for a company that consulted to tech firms back then. The founder of that company knew the dedicated hardware model was all wrong. He insisted the microcomputer (as it was called back then) would triumph. And look where we are today.
The microcomputer of yore is today’s cellphone.
TechCrunch is on the beam here:
Instagram has evolved far beyond the initial simplicity of just filtering and sharing photos. When it launched, mobile networks, screens, and cameras weren’t ready for longer-form video, and neither were users. As more families cut the cord or teens ignore television all together, though, Instagram has an opportunity to become the TV of mobile.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
YouTube can’t let that happen.
But on their present course, it’s inevitable.
Given the neglect and the outright lack of thinking that goes into YouTube, I fear what my imagination summons as YouTube’s response to IGTV: A YouTube Vertical App! Or worse — because Marketing got involved — YouTube Smart (“Smart” as in Smartphone, get it? Hey, blame YouTube Marketing!).
YouTube should not normalize Portrait-mode video. It’s a freak format. I won’t say real creators won’t touch it because that’d be lame. It’ll just conjure up new creators, as YouTube has done versus conventional TV. Let me not trip into David Lynch territory!
The assault on YouTube has begun.
Can they defend their castle?
I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be signing any exclusivity deals with them!
One further worry for YouTube: How good are Instagram Notifications?
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