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Instagram vs. YouTube

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

Instagram vs. YouTube

Move over YouTube, Instagram has come to play in the big leagues. Red Shark announced yesterday that Instagram has plans to launch its very own long-form video section and is ready to take the spotlight. Youtube has always been the undisputed social platform for video content so it will be interesting to see how Instagram stacks up. Here’s everything you need to know about the new update.

New Format:

Instagram’s new video format allows creators to upload 4K, full-screen, vertically oriented videos. There will also no longer be a 60-second limit, allowing you to post content-heavy vids. Sources have stated that the platform will allow for the upload of videos up to an hour long. The content posted is expected to be similar to what you see from YouTube stars and could range from scripted shows to music videos. Differing from a story highlight, long-form videos must be pre-filmed and uploaded, they cannot be shot and instantly posted.


Similar to Snapchat Discover and Instagram Stories, the new feature will have a centralized hub for featuring popular videos, as well as the option to continue videos you have started watching. These videos will also pop-up on authors’ profiles in the form of story bubbles as seen on the current update. While Facebook did attempt to tap into this resource, the platform came up short with reality shows and documentaries failing to spark interest. This new feature will relate more towards the younger generation and bring in social media stars to help get the job done.

Partner Involvement:

Instagram has apparently been reaching out to popular social media stars and content houses to establish launch partners for the big reveal. This is a huge opportunity for social media influencers. Being first in the know will allow them to prepare top-notch content ready for the new update. If your video ends up being a top hit, you could also be compensated for your efforts. Instagram plans to let creators earn money off their long videos, however, this is not finalized. This could be through pre-roll ads or mid-break commercials similar to Facebook.


Thank you, Instagram for listening to our prayers! Instagram will finally let creators add a link that can be visited by swiping up on the video. No longer will we have to put the link in our bio and hope we don’t lose customer interest. Overall this will improve user experience and could generate more conversions because it grabs users attention the exact moment they are seeing it.

So can they actually pull it off?

Instagram’s main two competitors will be YouTube and Snapchat Discover. The new feature offers users something that the other two don’t, personalized curation. There are five billion videos watched on YouTube every single day and their ad revenue is projected to hit almost 4 billion dollars. However, with all of this content, it can be hard to find exactly what you are looking for without combing through a few dead ends. Instagram's algorithmic approach could raise the likelihood of you seeing actual content you’ll enjoy. On the other hand, Snapchat Discover has more defined content categories, but since their decision to only feature chosen partners results in a lack of broad content. With Instagram’s 500 million-plus users, influencers and creators will jump at the chance to broaden their audience and build their online presence all while getting paid for their efforts. While Instagram will probably never compete with the ever-growing YouTube library, the new targeted approach will relate to the more casual viewer and could potentially keep us spending more and more time on the social platform.

Instagram has released a statement asking reporters to RSVP for a June 20th “special event” which means we could be seeing this new video update sooner than later. Check back for the big reveal, and subscribe to our newsletter for more marketing updates and news!

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