Instagram has grown to more than five times the size of Snapchat since it was acquired by Facebook in 2012. The company recently announced a new app for a long-form video called IGTV, which will also exist as a tab within Instagram’s existing app. This will allow users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the previous one-minute limit.
Co-founder, Kevin Systrom revealed at an event in San Francisco that the app has over 1 billion monthly active users and Its time for the video to move forward and evolve.
Instagram’s push into longer videos was widely expected and had been reported by TechCrunch. The launch of the app confirms TechCrunch’s scoops over the past month outlining the features and potential of IGTV that had been said to arrive, following the WSJ’s report that Instagram would offer videos up to an hour in length.
Unlike the main Instagram app, which shows video “Stories” as bubbles at the top of the page and displays uploaded videos as part of the regular feed, IGTV videos will appear as a series of rectangular thumbnails at the bottom of a creator’s page. Once you tap on one, the video goes full screen. In the lower left-hand corner of each video are the same three icons you see now on Instagram: a heart, a comment bubble, and a share tool. Tap on those for the same functionality as on the main Instagram app.
The app will allow anyone except small and new accounts create contents, not just celebrities. The videos will all be pre-recorded, not live. Although Instagram product manager, Ashley Yuki indicated that live video is something the company will be looking at in the future.
IGTV’s dedicated app or its in-Instagram experience will allow viewers be able to swipe through a variety of longer-form videos, or swipe up to visit a Browse tab of personally recommended videos, popular videos, creators they’re following and the option to continue watching previously started videos. Users will also get callouts from the IGTV button alerting them to new content.
Accessible from a button inside the Instagram home-screen, as well as a standalone app, IGTV will spotlight popular videos from Instagram celebrities.
Systrom revealed that there are no ads IGTV as they’re more focused on building engagement. There will obviously be a way for creators to make a living since they spend their lives doing this.
Ads aside, there are still some key differences between IGTV and YouTube as products, the biggest being their approaches to formatting. Due in part to its horizontal formatting, YouTube has successfully become the premier online destination not for only digital-first creators but also for mainstream music and television content. Its horizontal videos make natural sense for say, music videos, or late-night talk show clips.
GTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS