You Tube Logo displayed on a computer screen

Is IGTV the New YouTube?

On the precipice of reaching 1 billion active monthly users in June, Instagram released a new feature called IGTV. This new video format allows all users to share pre-recorded, vertical videos up to ten minutes long, while creators with large audiences can post hour-long videos. The question on everyone’s mind is whether IGTV will become a direct competitor for YouTube and if it will provide a better opportunity for businesses. While Instagram does have a way of swallowing up its competition, YouTube still provides many benefits that IGTV does not.

Let’s highlight the primary features of each channel and the benefits they provide for businesses to reach consumers:


  • Videos are vertical rather than horizontal in order to be viewed without rotating the phone.
  • Content consists of channels that can be watched by clicking on the orange TV icon in the top right corner of the Instagram app, on the account page of the creator, or by downloading the specific IGTV app.
  • Channels are easily created, and pre-recorded videos are uploaded quickly.
  • Videos are permanent and won’t expire after 24 hours like the Stories.
  • Users still get the same Instagram experience with the option of watching IGTV channels.
  • Content is still more natural and “on-the-go” even though it’s not live.
  • When a user closes out of a video before it ends, it will pick up where they left off the next time they access IGTV.
  • IGTV can only be watched on a mobile device, although longer videos must be uploaded from the desktop.
  • The “Discovery” section provides some ability to search, though it requires a username to find specific creators or accounts.


  • Video is shot horizontally to be watched on a desktop or with the phone turned.
  • Considered an “all-purpose platform” that displays polished, complete work from businesses and creators.
  • Large, established platform with a vast amount of searchable content for almost any topic.
  • Users can subscribe to channels and receive notifications of new content when posted.
  • No limit on video length regardless of how many followers a creator may have.
  • Videos can be watched on mobile devices or desktops.
  • Searching for videos is simple and can be performed on either a search engine or in YouTube.

One of the most important things to consider between the platforms is the purpose. Instagram users look to creators for visual inspiration, motivation, commonality, or to discover something new. Users scroll and follow niche communities. YouTube users search for particular videos, generally tutorials or clips from a favorite show. Another major consideration is that YouTube videos can be found by searching keywords in search engines like Google, while IGTV videos can only be discovered in Instagram itself. For business who may not have a large following on Instagram already, YouTube may be a more effective channel for organic reach.

Contact The Light Digital for help creating a video marketing campaign for the most effective social media channels.