Tech Guide

Instagram's new YouTube killer looks promising but doesn't have much in it yet

Key Points
  • Instagram TV launches for iPhone and Android.
  • IGTV lets you view and upload longer video clips than you can with Instagram.
  • Here's what the app looks like and what you can do with it.

Instagram launched a new service and app called Instagram TV on Wednesday.

IGTV is sort of an attack on YouTube and lets people upload and view video clips up to 60 minutes long.

I just installed it, so here's a quick look at what it's like.

This is the log-in screen. You can just use your existing Instagram account.

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Here's the main screen. It has recommendations on what I might like. Right now there are breakdancers in Times Square. The video in the top box began playing right when I opened the app, so there's some motion blur in my picture.

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I swiped right a bunch of times to find longer videos. Most stuff was only a minute or so long. Then I found this, a NatGeo channel with a 47-minute show called "One Strange Rock: Home."

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You can comment on a show, like it, or send it to a friend to watch.

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If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen at any time, you'll see a menu for popular videos, videos catered to you, videos from people you follow, or the option to continue watching what you've already started.

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You can search for videos or follow recommended channels. 

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Although the platform supports long videos, most are still really short. Then again, it just opened to the public on Wednesday, so people are mostly just getting their feet wet.

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If you tap a name, you can choose to follow someone by tapping the + button. I have no idea who this is.

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You can create your own channel, too. Your videos have to be vertical (filmed like you normally hold your phone — not sideways).

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Oddly, Instagram says my videos have to be 15 seconds to 10 minutes long right now. I guess only some people can upload a full one-hour clip right now.

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That's pretty much all there is to it right now. It seems like a good place to waste some time if you're into following certain celebrities or channels.

It's not really my cup of tea — I didn't see anything that held my attention for very long, but maybe it will get better as people upload better original videos. It might be cool to see a 30-minute TV show exclusively on Instagram TV one day, for example.