In another move to become everyone’s one-stop-internet-shop, Instagram has launched IGTV, their new app that turns your phone into a television.
In IGTV you will be able to watch videos that are up to an hour in length. It’s like a good old-fashioned TV in that it starts playing as soon as you open it (and every time you change channels there is a cute and nostalgic flash of white noise). This will mean less time spent mindlessly browsing through every single series ever trying to choose something to watch before settling on re-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for the fifth time. The ‘channels’ on IGTV are Instagram users. All you have to do to create your own TV channel is click a couple of buttons and you’re up and ready to give Nadia Jaftha a run for her money.
You can use IGTV either through the stand-alone IGTV app through your already-existing Instagram app. To use it through Instagram, just click on the little TV icon next to the paper plane DM icon on your dashboard.
Once you open IGTV you will immediately be shown videos which their sneaky algorithm thinks you’ll enjoy. This first video I saw was called ‘Playing With Slurp Juice’; make of that what you will. From the dashboard you can search IGTV for channels, and browse between the For You, Following and Popular tabs. The app also has a social side as you can comment on videos and share them by DMs too. The app is brand-new, so it’s low on content at the moment, but no doubt in a matter of days there is going to be thousands more videos showing me how to play with slurp juice.
Instagram is placing a huge emphasis on ‘vertical video’, the video format that they consider to be the future of how we consume video content. It sounds fancy but it just means videos shot in portrait, not landscape mode like we’ve been doing for millions of years. It might take a while for us to get used to not rotating our phones to watch videos, but on the positive side, it means we will no longer have to totally exhaust ourselves by using two hands to hold our phone on its side! When you select a video in IGTV it fills up your whole screen, without any sidebars or cropping.
It’s still early days but if IGTV takes off it could mean the end of sites like YouTube and Netflix and of paying your TV license (which we all totally do, right?).
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