Instagram unveiled today the new addition to it’s current app, IGTV, which will allow users to upload much longer videos than ever before, offering creatives the chance to work their magic and share it across an easily accessible and digestible format.
Who needs an actual TV when you have a smartphone? Thanks to Instagram, you can now watch long-form videos directly on the app. The announcement was made today as the social media giant looks to change it’s current app and introduce it’s standalone new app, IGTV. Working as a tab in the current app, IGTV will open as a vertical screen and start immediately playing video much like a television when turned on.
Users will then be able to navigate across different "channels" which will be different users and creators content. Currently, users can upload up to 10 minutes of content with more popular accounts being able tow work with a whole hour’s worth of video.
“Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you!…” said Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom
The move will put Instagram's content in competition with YouTube, which uses programs like YouTube Creators to support its community of video makers.
The announcement follows news earlier this week that Facebook plans to introduce tools to connect video creators with advertisers and the launch of Facebook Watch for long-form video last summer.
The news was announced a day ahead of VidCon, a popular conference for video creators being held this week in Anaheim, California.
The IGTV app will give users to ability to follow their favorite creators and use machine learning to predict which videos they'll want to watch nest. A swipe left or right in the IGTV app will bring up additional content, and viewers will be able to leave comments and interact with video creators.
There are a few ways you can use IGTV, and both will become accessible for iOS and Android users in upcoming weeks, starting immediately. When you have access to IGTV, you can either download it as a separate app, or use the IGTV feature within your Instagram account to watch other videos. Either way, you'll have access to long-form vids that are way longer than a mere 60 seconds.
IGTV will not launch with advertising or make payments to creators, but monetization strategy will be explored in the future, Systrom said. However, influencers will be able to share links in IGTV to support deals they strike with brands.
No plans are currently in the works to produce original Instagram content for IGTV.
In other recent video-related Instagram news, at the F8 developer conference last month, Facebook announced plans to introduce group video chat for WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as the ability to share content from apps like GoPro and Spotify in Instagram Stories.