Instagram launches hour-long videos in new app
The company – which is also owned by Facebook – is bringing users IGTV, a stand-alone app that will let them upload video clips of up to 60 minutes.
The move is a pretty big jump from Instagram Stories where users can upload video clips of up to 60 seconds which disappear after 24 hours.
The move is an attempt to lure celebrity content creators and a video-focussed generation to the platform, challenging video heavy-hitters like YouTube.
Instagram confirmed that the videos on IGTV are full screen and vertical and start playing as soon as users open the app. Users can swipe up to discover more, switching between content curated as ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’.
They can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.
The new platform will have channels much like TV but creators will have their own channels that fans can subscribe to – again, much like YouTube.
Anyone can be a creator on the platform and users can upload their own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start their own channel.
It’s not been confirmed whether the platform will use ads, such as the ones users see at the start of YouTube videos, but Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom did say this could be the direction it ends up taking.
The announcement came at an event in San Francisco, where the company also announced it had hit a milestone of a billion monthly users.
IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS.