The social media platform unveiled its new long-form video content hub on 20 June 2018, establishing direct competition with YouTube.
The official launch of IGTV allows Instagram users to upload video content up to an hour in length to the platform, bypassing previous 60-second time restrictions on uploads. The ability to post hour-long videos is currently unavailable to smaller accounts but is due to expand out to all accounts soon.
Instagram has launched IGTV as both a stand-alone application and as a feature accessible within the main Instagram app, much like its photo looping app Boomerang.
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.
Videos uploaded to IGTV are presented in full screen vertical orientation, with users able to like, comment, and share videos via direct message.
Users can instantly swipe through a curated selection of videos or swipe up to browse personalised recommendations, popular videos, or previously viewed videos.
Creators will be able to organise their videos uploaded to IGTV within personal Instagram Channels that users can subscribe to and can also use video descriptions to direct users to other content beyond Instagram – features similar to YouTube’s community-oriented structure.
“Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day,” Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press release. “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.”
Instagram aims to attract established content creators to the new IGTV platform, promising creators that the ability to monetise their videos will be introduced in the near future.
IGTV was made available in both iOS and Android app stores worldwide upon launch.