Instagram announced it will launch IGTV — a new feature that will let users upload videos that are up to one hour in length.
During a special event in San Francisco, the company said it plans to roll out the feature that will give users more camera time. Previously, users were only allowed to upload videos to Instagram that were only a minute long.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says IGTV will be a standalone app and will also be integrated into the regular Instagram app. IGTV will be an all-vertical vertical video format, and according to Instagram the vertical format on IGTV is made for how most people use their phone and will give users a different kind of video experience that is dedicated to vertical video — a format that usually feels unnatural to viewers. "It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve, Systrom said at the event. "IGTV is for watching long-form videos from your favorite creators."
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According to Systrom, IGTV will start playing as soon as you open the app, similar to the experience of turning on the television. You won’t need to search for things to watch as it will be right there as soon as you launch the app. "You can swipe up to discover more — switch between 'For You,' 'Following,' 'Popular' and 'Continue Watching'," according to Systrom.
"You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct," he added.
The channel feature appears to be like watching TV, except each IGTV channel will belong to a creator. When you follow an Instagram creator, their channel will add to your list of channels. According to Instagram, anyone can be an IGTV creator and users will be able to upload IGTV videos directly from the app or on the web.
IGTV: What we know so far
Instagram has a mobile-first strategy and says it was created the way most people use their phones. Those who are used to creating video for YouTube and other video hosting platforms are taught to shoot video horizontal to fit the normal aspect ratio for video. Instagram wants to change the video viewing and creation experience by creating a platform specifically for vertical video.
According to Instagram, the new video feature will first focus on popular content creators with a large following. We wouldn’t be surprised if celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift get their own IGTV channel with the new feature launches. TechCrunch reports that everyone except for new accounts and accounts without many followers will be able to upload hour-long videos at first.
When does IGTV come out?
As of now, there are no ads in IGTV, but just like every other video feature on social networks, there will probably be ads in the future.
If Instagram wants IGTV to be a success, the social network has the audience to make it happen. During the launch event in San Francisco, Systrom announced that Instagram has reached one billion users since its launch in 2010.
Instagram launches IGTV
From our CEO @kevin: “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! Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (@laurdiy) posting her newest project or King Bach (@kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start. IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. We made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.