Culture&Arts

Instagram announces new long-form video platform

Instagram announces new long-form video platform

Instagram users with a large following (Instagram did not specify a number, but likely in the tens of thousands) will be able to post videos up to one hour in length.

"It truly wouldnt have happened without all of you", CEO Kevin Systrom said of hitting the one-billion-user-mark.

According to Systrom, the app will be rolling out to everyone in the next few weeks. Facebook is paying for rights to shows now, but the company aims for the content to eventually be popular enough to be supported exclusively by advertising revenue. Videos play longer than the 60 second limit usually seen on Instagram, and can in fact run as long as 10 minutes.

On Wednesday it announced IGTV, a new longform-video app. At an Instagram event, social media sensation Lele Pons revealed that she too will bring her talents (and some of her favorite recipes) to IGTV.

Instagram is taking on YouTube. IGTV could also spell more trouble for Snapchat which has been trying to make vertical video the most popular format among Millennials and teens. At a press demonstration Wednesday, Instagram executives showed video clips featuring wildlife explorers and amateur cooks.

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IGTV is essentially a video platform, similar to YouTube, where each creator has their own channel which users can choose to follow to stay updated on. This is a major accomplishment - so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! Users can also like, comment and share videos with friends directly.

Instagram announced a new service and app today called IGTV. As a result, you'll be able to watch content from people you already follow but also discover others. It's not the first time Instagram has copied Snapchat.

How much time users spend using an app is an important competitive metric for social media platforms. According to market-research firm eMarketer, video makes up 17% of all United States digital ad spending, and an increasing number of people are watching video on their phones.

Citing 2017 data from Emarketer, Instagram noted that "these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video".

IGTV also has channels, just like a TV, but the channels are the creators themselves. "Right now, we're focused on building engagement", said Systrom, adding that Instagram always likes to start simple, ads are a logical place to go, and the company would cut creators in on any money it makes.