On 21 June, Instagram unleashed IGTV on the world, getting us all excited and thinking ‘uh-oh YouTube, these guys are coming for you!’

As if they’d been given warning and without a moment’s hesitation, brands hopped on the bandwagon and started playing the IGTV game with verve and vigour.

Fashion house Louis Vuitton released their 12 minute Men’s Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show and it was something glorious to behold. Buzzfeed, who have been creating content for Snapchat Discover, had a two year head start…no surprises there. But these are both big budget brands who can afford to adapt easily.

Two months down the line, we’re not so sure that ‘IGTV VS YouTube?’ is the right question though. Here’s why:

1. Monetization: Instagram isn’t paying content creators, not yet anyway, so there’s no incentive to create content. Surely a whole bunch of the big names in the social game are thinking ‘k thanks, bye’ and not bothering to try it out at all?

2. Searchability: finding videos on IGTV is a mission. Basically, you only find who you follow. A bit of a flawed system, right? And certainly nowhere close to YouTube’s search engine, who are pretty much the Google of video. In this department, IGTV can consider themselves trumped.

So maybe IGTV is competition but it’s definitely not a substitute for YouTube. It’s its own thing, really, so it should have its own kind of content. But what kind of content would be better viewed vertically? Music videos? Let’s paint a (vertical) picture: Michael Jackson performing Thriller, your jaw’s on the floor ‘cause his dance moves are on fire and suddenly he moonwalks right off the screen. No thanks. Applying that logic, we’d have to say ‘no thanks’ to sports, concerts, and movies, too.

With the pressure to create high quality, well edited content all the time, it looks like YouTube is moving in the direction of television and perhaps this is the gap that IGTV is trying to fill. IGTV could be taking things back to what YouTube used to, them good old days when what really mattered was personality and relatability.

Maybe this is the comeback of the low-budget vlog? We’re going to treat it like the evolution of stories, a chance to create behind-the-scenes content on the go, more substantial than 15 second clips but less pressure than creating HD blockbusters. We choose IGTV AND YouTube.

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