Instagram Unveils New Video Service in Challenge to YouTube

Instagram Unveils New Video Service in Challenge to YouTube
Instagram Unveils New Video Service in Challenge to YouTube
Image Source

Facebook’s Instagram app is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube.

The expansion announced Wednesday, dubbed IGTV, will increase Instagram’s video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users. Accounts with large audiences will be able to distribute programs lasting up to an hour.

The videos will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. It will give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

It’s the latest instance in which Instagram has ripped a page from a rival’s playbook in an effort to preserve its status as a cool place for young people to share and view content. In this case, Instagram is mimicking Google’s YouTube. Before, Facebook and Instagram have copied Snapchat — another magnet for teens and young adults.

Instagram is moving further from its roots as a photo-sharing service as it dives headlong into a longer-form video.

The initiative comes as parent company Facebook struggles to attract teens, while also dealing with a scandal that exposed its leaky controls for protecting users’ personal information.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told the Associated Press that he hopes IGTV will emerge as a hub of creativity for relative unknowns who turn into internet sensations with fervent followings among teens and young adults.

That is what’s already happening on YouTube, which has become the world’s most popular video outlet since Google bought it for $1.76 billion nearly 12 years ago. It now boasts 1.8 billion users.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion six years ago, recently crossed 1 billion users, up from 800 million users nine months ago.

Perhaps even more importantly, 72 percent of U.S. kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second in the demographic to YouTube at 85 percent, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Only 51 percent of people in that age group now use Facebook, down from 71 percent from a similar Pew survey in 2014-15.

That trend appears to be one of the reasons that Facebook is “hedging its bets” by opening Instagram to the longer-form videos typically found on YouTube, said analyst Paul Verna of the research firm eMarketer.

Besides giving Instagram another potential drawing card, longer clips are more conducive to video ads lasting from 30 seconds to one minute. Instagram doesn’t currently allow video ads, but Systrom said it eventually will. When the ads come, Instagram intends to share revenue with the videos’ creators — just as YouTube already does.

“We want to make sure they make a living because that is the only way it works in the long run,” Systrom said.

The ads also will help Facebook sustain its revenue growth. Total spending on online video ads in the U.S. is expected to rise from nearly $18 billion this year to $27 billion in 2021.

Lele Pons, a YouTube sensation who also has amassed 25 million followers on Instagram, plans to launch a new cooking show on IGTV in hopes of increasing her audience and eventually generating more revenue. “I am looking forward to making videos for both YouTube and Instagram,” she said. “It’s like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. You will never know what you like better unless you try both.”

IGTV’s programming format will consist exclusively of a vertical video designed to fill the entire screen of smartphones. By contrast, most YouTube videos fill only a portion of the screen unless the phone is tilted horizontally.

“This is acknowledging vertical video is the future and we want the future to come more quickly, so we built IGTV.”

News Source

YouTube offers creators new ways to earn money

YouTube offers creators new ways to earn money
YouTube offers creators new ways to earn money
Image Source

SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube, often criticized for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships, the company said on Thursday.

Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief products officer.

“But we also want to think beyond ads. Creators should have as many ways and opportunities to make money as possible,” he said.

Viewers will pay $4.99 a month for channel memberships giving them access to exclusive content including livestreams, extra videos or shout-outs on channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.

Creators will also be able to sell merchandise like shirts or phone cases directly on their channels, the company said.

YouTube returns a small part of its advertising revenue to content creators who regularly accuse the platform of giving them only crumbs.

The site is facing increasing competition from other platforms using more and more video.

YouTube says it has more than 1.9 billion users but the figure only counts those who log in via their accounts.

News Source

Facebook news use declining, WhatsApp growing: study

The Reuters Institute report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, found that the use of social media for news fell by six percentage points in the United States compared to last year
The Reuters Institute report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, found that the use of social media for news fell by six percentage points in the United States compared to last year
Image Source

LONDON: News consumption is increasingly shifting from social media like Facebook to messaging applications like WhatsApp, according to a study published Thursday which also found high levels of international public concern about fake news online.

The Reuters Institute report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, found that the use of social media for news fell by six percentage points in the United States compared to last year.

“Almost all the decline is due to a decrease in the discovery, posting and sharing of news in Facebook,” said lead author Nic Newman, a founding member of the BBC News website.

Facebook suffered its worst public relations disaster in its history when a huge data privacy breach was revealed earlier this year.

The scandal saw many users around the world opt to move away from Facebook, and to spend more time on other apps like WhatsApp and Instagram — which are also owned by Facebook.

The 2018 Digital News Report found that WhatsApp is now used for news by around half of the sample in Malaysia (54 percent) and Brazil (48 percent) and by around a third in Spain (36 percent) and Turkey (30 percent).

The report, based on a YouGov survey of over 74,000 online news consumers, found Instagram had also taken off in Asia and South America, while Snapchat progressed in Europe and the United States.

The report also revealed that the average level of trust in the news has remained relatively stable at 44 percent — a slight increase from 43 percent last year. However, only 23 percent said they trusted the news they find in social media.

Real or fake?

More than half (54 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that they were concerned about what is real and fake on the Internet.

The rate was highest in Brazil at 85 percent and lowest in the Netherlands at 30 percent.

The survey found that a majority of respondents believed publishers and platforms have the biggest responsibility to fix the problem of fake and unreliable news.

Some 60 percent of respondents in Europe, 63 percent in Asia and 41 percent in the United States believed that their governments should do more to stop “fake news”.

The report also found that podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way of accessing news, with 33 percent of respondents in the United States and 18 percent in Britain making use of them.

It found that in Britain, Germany and the United States, around half of those polled who have voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home use them to receive news.

News Source