Coinciding with the announcement that it’s just hit one billion active users, Instagram has launched IGTV – a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from Instagram creators. As well as the stand-alone app, you’ll also be able to watch the videos, which can be up to an hour long, straight from the Instagram app.
“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,” said Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom in a statement today. “We’ve 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.”
This new feature will put Instagram in direct competition with YouTube and will no doubt help the social app to lure over all those original content creators. It’s currently unclear if the videos will be monetiseable through adverts, but creators will no doubt be working on sponsored IGTV content deals.
“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,” Systrom added.
IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS.