The market insights experts at SimilarWeb have released a new statement suggesting that Instagram's recently launched IGTV may be a better way to retain users rather than to spur growth. According to Senior Director of Marketing Insights Gitit Greenberg, the company's user base on Android has already been increasing steadily since September of last year. In fact, in February, the platform surpassed Snapchat on mobile in terms of average daily usage and is on track to match Facebook in that regard. The average user spent approximately 29 minutes per day engaged with the Android app at the beginning of that rise. By the most recent figures, that number has nearly doubled to 48.3 minutes. For users in the U.S., in particular, the number is closer to 55-minutes compared to Snapchat's approximately 50 minutes and Facebook at nearly an hour. Of course, that steady increase has already been trending since well before the company's reveal of its new content sharing platform.
Greenberg goes on to point out that, following the announcement, there hasn't really been a noticeable jump in activity. While it's possible that Instagram might begin to see gains from the introduction of the service, the videos are effectively limited to an hour in length. Taking into account the likeliness that users will watch entire videos and time spent looking for new videos, it doesn't seem likely that those will push interaction with the application much higher than it already is. However, if the content is well made and the service becomes popular in spite of a current lack of monetization planning, it could help users keep interacting overall. That would not only give Instagram a way to reduce the problem of how fickle users can be about choosing a social platform. It could also provide breathing room as the company works to implement other changes with a continued focus on growth.
As to the platform itself, Instagram's IGTV allows users to create portrait oriented full-screen content in a kind of hybrid between YouTube and Instagram. Content will be up to an hour in length, as mentioned above, and both individual and business users can participate. Feeds are organized similarly to Instagrams and the first video shown to a user will automatically play silently at app launch until the user manually turns up audio. The latter of those features will ensure there's no accidental obnoxious sound-blasting when the app is first opened.