On Wednesday Instagram announced the launch of IGTV, a new platform for longer videos that is designed to function like social-media based television. In other words, they have defeated Snapchat with their Stories feature, and now they are looking to steal YouTube’s users too.
IGTV is now available in the most recent version of the Instagram app. The new feature supports long-form video (up to an hour long) shot in vertical orientation. The videos take up the entire smartphone screen, like Instagram Stories, and they will be accessible not only within the Instagram app, but via a separate IGTV app which is slated to launch soon.
Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom and IGTV product manager Ashley Yuki delivered the news onstage at a live-streamed event in San Francisco. They explained that IGTV will be navigable just like television: When a user opens the app, the IGTV video content of an account they already follow on Instagram will begin playing. In the original Instagram app, IGTV content will be accessible via a separate section, not as part of a user’s feed.
There won’t be channels beyond individual user accounts, though — as Instagram states in a blog post, “the creators are the channels.” Creators with more followers will have the ability to make hour-long videos right away, but average users will be capped at 10 minutes initially.