Instagram hits 1bn users, takes on YouTube with IGTV

Getty Images

Getty Images

Facebook-owned social networking platform Instagram unveiled a new video mobile app on Wednesday created to allow for longer user-generated videos.

IGTV is a new app for watching long-form vertical video from Instagram creators. As a result, you'll be able to watch content from people you already follow but also discover others.

Instagram said IGTV will be available as a standalone app as well as its flagship app.

Taking YouTube by the horns, Instagram has announced, with much fanfare, the launch of IGTV - a video content-only wing of Instagram. And since IGTV arrives in an already crowded market for streaming content, Instagram is launching IGTV in a very accessible way.

Notably, the IGTV app allows watching videos without any commercial breaks, at least, for now.

Forced changes to our daily Instagram activity never go down well, with most of the app's updates being met by a negative reaction. CEO Systrom said in statement onstage at the press event that, "It's time for video to move forward, and evolve". Instagram has come up with a few ways to make the service different from what users expect from YouTube, however.

Instagram wants the new feature to reach as many social media users as possible for obvious reasons.

Famed Pomeranian Jiffpom can now share videos up to an hour long on IGTV.

IGTV will soon be integrated into Instagram, with new IGTV bubbles appearing on the profiles of people you follow.

What do you think of IGTV? The company has also managed to get a lot of popular influencers to start their own channels on IGTV, including Kim Kardashian, Ninja (the Fortnite streamer), Selena Gomez, Kevin Hart, Chris Hemsworth, Lele Pons, and others. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram.

"We have now a community of one billion users", Systrom told the event in San Francisco.

With IGTV, Instagram now has another way to bring in revenue through ads. Creators will have their own dedicated channels, too. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren't limited to one minute.

On Wednesday CEO Kevin Systrom announced a new long-form video platform specifically crafted for those billion smartphone users and their smartphone screens.

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