TechLife Australia - - DISCOVER - [ SHAUN PRESCOTT ]

Free | www.in­sta­gram.com

Ev­ery­one loves con­tent, but in­creas­ingly, ev­ery­one loves cre­at­ing con­tent, too. Since In­sta­gram added video func­tion­al­ity to its core ap­pli­ca­tion in 2016, what the app has lost in sim­plic­ity it’s gained in pop­u­lar­ity. For many, pre­sum­ably younger peo­ple, on-the-go video con­tent is a daily sta­ple in their me­dia diet, to the ex­tent that there’s a bur­geon­ing trend for video con­tent to be cre­ated with por­trait ori­en­ta­tion in mind, all the bet­ter to con­sume on a phone screen.

IGTV is ef­fec­tively a free video stream­ing ser­vice, but the video you’re get­ting is, well, In­sta­gram stuff. Dur­ing the first five min­utes spent us­ing IGTV, we saw a pretty even split be­tween scant­ily clad women ad­dress­ing the cam­era and... zany in­jury mon­tages. In­sta­gram is a breed­ing ground for ‘in­flu­encers’, you see, a new type of celebrity adept at sub­tly sell­ing stuff to their au­di­ence. It’s hard to dis­miss these new cul­tural fig­ures out of hand be­cause the de­scrip­tor ‘in­flu­encer’ can ap­ply to vir­tu­ally any in­ter­est or topic. But it’s fair to say that any­one above the age of 35 will likely be per­plexed by what passes as entertainment on this app.

In some ways, IGTV neatly en­cap­su­lates how me­dia in gen­eral is chang­ing. Rarely does a video on IGTV last longer than a minute, and the app is geared to­wards de­liv­er­ing an end­less stream of ma­te­rial which can fea­si­bly be viewed with the sound down in busy public spa­ces. The app will try to de­liver ma­te­rial based on what you’ve al­ready viewed, and it’s pos­si­ble to fol­low other IGTV users that cater to your in­ter­ests. But it’s un­clear whether the app will see much up­take be­yond your typ­i­cal youth-ori­ented YouTube per­son­al­ity fod­der.

Of course, it’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate your own chan­nel and up­load your own videos, so if you’re un­happy with what IGTV has to of­fer, you could al­ways be the change you want to see. But with a UI that seems geared more to­wards show­ing fea­tured con­tent, rather than pro­mot­ing dis­cov­eri­bil­ity, it might be a while be­fore we know how much im­pact IGTV can have.

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