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.

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.

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."

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

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.

You can search for videos or follow recommended channels. 

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.

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

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

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.

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.