Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Instagram announces IGTV - a new app for watching long-form videos

Instagram announces IGTV - a new app for watching long-form videos

"We've come a really long way in just eight years, and it's thanks to this incredible community. that we've been able to launch IGTV", Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said on stage at a launch event in San Francisco that was beset by delays and technical issues.

Instagram has launched IGTV, a mobile-centric vertical video platform.

The app is aimed at what Instagram calls "creators", but anyone can create and upload videos.

"The way we are watching video is changing", Systrom told the event.

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.

The move will put Instagram's content in competition with YouTube, which uses programs like YouTube Creators to support its community of video makers.

By launching IGTV, Instagram seems poised to compete with other tech platforms, such as Snapchat and YouTube, that have housed video from high-profile individuals and media organizations for years.

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Instagram's IGTV is ultimately going to be a direct competitor to YouTube, but the company is also targeting Snapchat's Discover.

It becomes the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger.

If Instagram's trying to take a chunk out of YouTube's near-monopoly on video, it's starting from a strong place. And just like television, you can watch videos from a particular channel - the channels being creators you follow on Instagram.

From what Instagram has shown so far, the service looks like a fun addition to Instagram's existing video tools.

"Right now we're focused on building engagement, and there are no ads on IGTV from Day One", Systrom said. Some creators are allowed to upload videos for up to an hour.

Videos uploaded to IGTV will be vertically-orientated, so they can be viewed fullscreen on a smartphone when it is held in portrait. Instagram users with a large following (Instagram did not specify a number, but likely in the tens of thousands) will be able to post videos up to one hour in length. "There will be a way for creators to make a living".

In September 2017, Instagram said it had some 800 million monthly active users.

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