Instagram launches IGTV with videos up to one hour long

Kevin Systrom on stage at the IGTV launch

Kevin Systrom on stage at the IGTV launch

As previously expected, today Instagram has officially announced its new long-form video effort, IGTV.

The move comes as Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said on Wednesday that it hit one billion users on its platform.

Instagram also shares how businesses, creators, and more can "leverage" the new platform, reiterating its massive user base.

As for who can create content for IGTV, Instagram notes that "anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web". 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. The launch of IGTV not only paves the way for longer content, but it could also allow Instagram and its content partners make more money through advertising.

On Wednesday it announced IGTV, a new longform-video app.

The user update shows Instagram moving further ahead of Snapchat, which lags behind with around 100 million monthly active users.

If Instagram's trying to take a chunk out of YouTube's near-monopoly on video, it's starting from a strong place. With IGTV, videos can be a max of 60-minutes-long. Heading on the app right now reveals a pretty limited selection of videos, with the only person I know on there being MKBHD, but that'll probably change as time goes on. Instagram hasn't talked about the possibility of turning off video autoplay when launching the service, but it's likely that it will be a requested feature. "Since then video has exploded, we've continued to build video experiences, and in 2016 we launched stories. which brings us to IGTV".

Once you open the IGTV app, content from individuals that you follow will automatically begin playing.

"The way we are watching video is changing", Systrom told the event. If you're not into that video, swipe to check out other creators' channels. The difference between its new features and Instagram is there's a chance the latter could actually succeed in making a dent in YouTube's cornerstone. "When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch".

A whole platform built around vertical video and access to the most annoying of Instagram's Stars?

Instagram does not immediately plan to share revenue with video creators but may in the future, Systrom said. That feature has been incredibly popular on Instagram, drawing more users than all of Snapchat.

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