Instagram Is Adding Hour-Long Videos to Take on YouTube

22 June, 2018, 17:46 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Instagram released this video to promote IGTV

"I have some really big news - the big news is that we are now a global community of a billion monthly actives on Instagram", said Instagram CEO Kevin Kevin Systrom at the start of the IGTV event.

The photo-sharing app also announced it would be launching a stand-alone app called IGTV to host these long-form videos. The app will be available for download on iOS and Android smartphones in the coming days, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told a gathering of influencers and members of the press today at an event held in San Francisco.

"IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen", Instagram explained during the reveal of IGTV. Instagram describes IGTV as "a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators".

IGTV is apparently being likened to television, hence the name, in that it will immediately start playing video as soon as it is opened whereas this is not the case in other, similar apps.

"Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, we are excited to introduce IGTV which brings audiences closer to the creators they love".

By increasing the length and quality of video on Instagram, the image-sharing social media network may be trying to tap into the multibillion-dollar market for TV advertising. Facebook has encouraged popular video-makers to upload vertical videos on its new platform, but it does not now share advertising revenue with creators. The difference between Instagram and IGTV, however, is that the latter pushes vertical videos only and can last up to an hour.

Instagram made a decision to build a standalone property, because longer videos are not something people typically want on the main app, where videos are limited to 60 seconds. "We wanted to separate the two so you can decide which adventure to go on", Systrom said.

Since then it has become a strong engineer of growth for Facebook in terms of users and ad revenues.

IGTV will not launch with advertising or make payments to creators, but monetization strategy will be explored in the future, Systrom said. Instagram has come up with a few ways to make the service different from what users expect from YouTube, however.

"Younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals", Instagram said in a blog post.

Despite the lack of an ad opportunity on IGTV now, however, it does appear Instagram is already preparing one - and looking to prove itself as a safe option for marketers, said Noah Mallin, head of experience, content and sponsorships at Wavemaker.



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