IGTV vs YouTube: Which Platform is Better for Videos?

IGTV vs YouTube

On June 20, 2018 Instagram launched its own standalone vertical video application, IGTV. A tool that allows you to create and upload videos in the vertical format, this tool is now being pitted against YouTube.

With about 1 billion users on Instagram, IGTV is at the advantage of leveraging its huge user base. YouTube, on the other hand boasts of 1.9 billion monthly active users. Many video-sharing platforms like Vimeo and Vines came, but none could match up to this video-sharing giant.

Instagram is a very innovative and dynamic platform. What started off as a mere photo-sharing social media app, is now such a multifaceted platform for brands. Since its inception 5 years ago, Instagram has been adding many new features.

Stories, live videos, shop on Instagram, carousels. All these features have proved to be very successful. Brands have been leveraging these features to create top-quality content and increase engagement. As such, social media experts are placing their bets on this new feature that Instagram has introduced.

Meanwhile, the main concern for brands is over the IGTV vs YouTube debate.

Where does IGTV stand against YouTube? Should you be focusing only on IGTV now? What should be your next plan of action?

To get an answer to all these questions, you need to keep your social media goals in mind. But before that, let’s dig deeper into these tools.


Designed for Vertical Viewing

IGTV vs YouTube, Vertical videos

The USP of IGTV is the vertical viewing featuring that it offers. Given that most users consume Instagram content on their mobile devices, the vertical viewing tool has been a pleasant, welcome innovation. It is in fact the sole social media platform to offer the vertical video feature. Vertical videos offer a whole new, visually appealing and stimulating experience to users. Users, as well as content creators, can create and watch videos in the vertical format itself.

Easier content creation

IGTV allows easier video content creation. Thanks to its vertical format, you can now create videos and post them with your smartphone. You don’t have to use heavy video shooting equipment with IGTV. Nor do you have to worry about the hassles associated with video editing.

Swipe to browse feature

IGTV comes with a swipe to browse feature. This means that if you want to browse through videos, you should swipe towards the right and the next video in order will automatically start playing. This easy to use browsing feature makes this new tool attractive to an extent. The swipe to browse feature comes with a disadvantage of its own. Swiping for watching videos means that you may come across unpleasant, unwanted content that you may not want to see. In order to avoid undergoing such unpleasant experiences, users may consider quit using this app.

Video ranking algorithm on IGTV

On IGTV, videos ranked as ‘popular’ will appear first if you go about browsing. The algorithm ranks videos based on the percentage of users for each video. This means that only if your video caught people’s attention, will it be in the race for higher ranking. This makes the platform a very complicated one to ace.

If you want to increase the views for your IGTV videos, you need to track your Instagram content performance, particularly that of your videos. Use the social media analytics tool by Unbox Social to capture vital data behind your content. Based on this data, you can create high performing videos for your IGTV channel.

Commercial free format

Another feature most users would love is its commercial-free format. There are no ads to interrupt your videos, allowing for smooth viewing. Viewers absolutely love this feature. But if we view this from the point of view of the creator, it is actually a disadvantage. It could have been a more lucrative platform if creators could not only market their content but also earn through ads that run with the videos. While IGTV may not be featuring Ads on the videos, but Ads, as well as other revenue generating sources on IGTV, are also being speculated.

Channel wise searching

Do you know that you can only search for channels on IGTV? You cannot search by videos. You can only search by channel name. For instance if you want to look for a video on ‘how to clean a dutch oven without damaging it? You will have to think of IGTV channels of food bloggers and/or shoe brands influencers such as Bon Appetit Magazine or Jamie Oliver  to look for videos on this content. You will always have to head to a channel to look for a video.

IGTV videos are missing from search engine pages

IGTV videos are only available on Instagram or the IGTV app for now. No matter what you title your videos on IGTV, you will not be able to find these on other search engines like Google. This means your content will not be reaching a large part of your target audience. If your content is not reaching your target audience, then your efforts are only going wasted.


 IGTV vs YouTube, Horizontal format with click to play option

Robust presence on organic search result engines

YouTube comes with the advantage of greater reach, thanks to its presence on search engine results. If you ever key in a phrase like ‘how to write a project report’ or ‘how to bake a cake’, your search results will show YouTube video links too. This allows for greater scope for engagement and gradual conversions of prospects.

Valuable content over visually stimulating content

While Instagram tv gives a new visually stimulating experience with its vertical format, YouTube offers valuable content. High-quality content with titles, details about audience reactions and other information about the video content on YouTube makes it a more pleasant experience.

Leveraging these aspects in the right manner can help you build an effective YouTube marketing strategy for your brand. Unlike the swipe to browse feature of IGTV, YouTube allows you to get information about a video before you go ahead and hit the play button.

Multilayered on-platform search engine

YouTube has a great multi-layer on platform search engine. You can search for any video that you want to watch and also add filters to refine your search. Filters such as duration of videos and upload date can be used to find relevant content. This is not possible in IGTV. In this context, the IGTV vs YouTube debate goes in favour of YouTube. The YouTube search engine allows you the scope to increase your engagement and outreach, in this sense. The IGTV format limits your outreach to only your Instagram users and those who browse through IGTV videos.

For influencers and content creators

For influencers, YouTube offers a lucrative revenue generation model. Many influencers and YouTubers earn good money from YouTube, thanks to their lucrative revenue model. Video makers and influencers also have the option of monetising their video efforts by featuring commercials on their videos. 

Performance and audience insights on YouTube

One major advantage of using YouTube is the access that you have to vital insights about your YouTube channel. Tracking insights about videos is a healthy exercise that you must follow in order to generate maximum views on your YouTube videos. 

If you want to dig deeper, you can use the multi-faceted social media intelligence tool by Unbox Social. With the help of this YouTube Analytics tool, you can uncover very important data about your channel and build an effective YouTube marketing strategy.

Wondering how your brand is faring across social media platforms?
Dig deeper into your brand’s performance on various social media platforms with in-depth social media insights by Unbox Social.


Conclusion- The Verdict

In the IGTV vs YouTube competition, there is no one winner. You need to leverage the top features and benefits of each tool and frame a strategy that utilises both the tools optimally. Almost all of Instagram’s newly introduced features have proved successful. IGTV is definitely one of the upcoming features. However, to say that Instagram can cause a major threat to google’s video search engine will be more of an overstatement.

IGTV has some features such as no presence on external search engine result pages and swipe to browse and play features. These features will not be helpful in fulfilling your larger social media goals such as increased engagement and conversions.

To conclude it, in our opinion, you must use both YouTube and IGTV. Each comes with its own benefits and can be used to serve different goals.

If you are looking at expanding your presence and engagement on Instagram, then it is highly recommended to actively add IGTV videos. While the new vertical viewing tool is a great one, relying on IGTV alone will not be enough.

If you want to build your brand image and enhance your engagement levels, YouTube will make for a better option. It offers high quality video content. You can look up any type of content on YouTube using the superb on platform search engine. It’s strong presence on other search engine result pages further works in its favour.

Which platform- IGTV or YouTube will be more helpful in achieving your business goals? Or do you want to make the most out of both the tools?

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