Instagram adds TV feature after reaching 1 billion users

22 June, 2018, 17:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Instagram’s “IGTV” video hub for creators launches tomorrow		
		
	Josh Constine

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Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators.

An undeniable benefit of IGTV is that it will have 1 billion users on day one, since everyone who has an Instagram account can start uploading and watching videos right away.

Facebook Inc-owned (FB.O) social network Instagram launched a mobile app on Wednesday dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers' time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube.

The company announced a new app for long-form video called IGTV, which will also exist as a tab within Instagram's existing app.

Systrom said IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone, and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute. Videos will begin playing as soon as the user opens the app and will fill be full-screen vertically - contrasting with YouTube, which requires users to turn their phones horizontally for full-screen capabilities.

The videos can also apparently be viewed via the regular Instagram app, though the "IGTV" option doesn't seem to be popping up in creators' stories just yet.

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That is what's already happening on YouTube, which has become the world's most popular video outlet since Google bought it for $1.76 billion almost 12 years ago. Anyone can post their own videos to IGTV via the app or the web and create their own "channel".

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom made the announcement during an event in San Francisco today, exactly five years after the company first added video to its platform. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. "We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love", Systrom added. With IGTV, videos can be a max of 60-minutes-long. The video will eventually give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

Finally, before signing off, Kevin revealed that IGTV is ad-free for now, but that will not continue as they wanted to help content creators monetise their content, and ad-revenue-sharing would be a possible avenue to do that.

Users wanting access to the new IGTV feature in Instagram should go to the app store on their mobile device and upgrade Instagram to version 5.0 or later.

"Influencers are already making huge amounts of money building huge communities on Instagram so it makes sense to transition that into a video platform". To start with, Lele Pons, with over 25 million followers already on the main Instagram site, has been signed on.

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