Last year, Verizon officially unveiled a brand new plan upgrade that, for a small monthly fee, would let you watch 4K content on your mobile device. At the time I was more focused on the concept of the plan “feature” itself, finding it pretty disingenuous to take something away from customers and then charge them to have it back.
But I’m part of the problem and I added the feature to my plan anyway.
I still have it there — or I might not, I genuinely have no idea because I haven’t looked in months. That’s mostly because I don’t really care anymore. There isn’t a lot of 4K content out there that’s worth watching on a phone, even if the displays on the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X are great.
Which leads me right into Instagram’s newest standalone app, IGTV, which it announced earlier this week. This is Instagram’s concerted video effort, and perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that it’s a vertical video format effort. That means all of the video you see on IGTV is going to be in portrait mode.
Look, I get it. I’ve got two kids and they’re in a lot of productions that parents have to capture on their phones. That means I see a lot of people taking video (and photos, obviously) in portrait mode. Yes, it drives me crazy, but I get it. They’re probably going to watch that later on their phone, or even on their computer on Facebook (or Instagram!) and it will look “fine” in portrait.
I can’t stand this idea, though. Especially for long-form content, which is what IGTV is meant for. Videos that are an hour in length in portrait? No thank you. Even Instagram’s argument, that it’s easy to view in one hand, makes sense! I would just prefer to hold my phone with one hand and watch content in landscape mode.
I don’t even like watching movie trailers with vertical video, and I’m still mad at Netflix for having this be a thing. The idea that I’m going to see short films –some of which will probably be pretty great!– on IGTV shot exclusively in portrait doesn’t sound all that great.
But I might be the outlier here, so I wanted to ask all of you what you think of IGTV and long-form video content in vertical format. Do you think it’s going to catch on in a big way, or never really find a market? Do you prefer vertical video format? Let me know!