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Instagram long-form videos reportedly launching today, with celebrity-led push

21 June 2018

Social media network Instagram made a more aggressive push into the "media" side of its business earlier this week, hosting a splashy launch for a new service for long-form video called IGTV. It is both a standalone app and a tab inside the current Instagram platform, The Verge reports.

"It truly wouldnt have happened without all of you", CEO Kevin Systrom said of hitting the one-billion-user-mark.

Facebook Inc.'s photo-sharing app Instagram has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

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IGTV is rolling out globally to Android and iOS over the next few weeks. This will allow for more immersion, Instagram hopes, and longer sessions than the traditional app has allowed. Once you update your Instagram app, look for the IGTV logo on the top-right side of your feed, next to the DM button. Last year, Instagram announced that users spend about a half hour per day or more on the platform.

Instagram's YouTube competitor is finally here.

Systrom said IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone, and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute. At a press demonstration Wednesday, Instagram executives showed video clips featuring wildlife explorers and amateur cooks.

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In his remarks, Systrom positioned IGTV as the latest step in the company's "evolution" and suggested that horizontal video is inconvenient in an era when media consumption is increasingly happening on smartphones.

It means Instagram joins a prestigious club of apps and services that have one billion users, that includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Chrome, and YouTube. However, the discover feature is available when you swipe up. IGTV has channels but the creators are the channels. Before, Facebook and Instagram have copied Snapchat - another magnet for teens and young adults. But Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said he expects the company eventually will introduce ads and potentially provide a share of that revenue to creators who post on the site. That feature has been incredibly popular on Instagram, drawing more users than all of Snapchat.

On the Instagram Business blog, the company offered this IGTV pitch to brands: "Build stronger connections with potential customers as you showcase other dimensions of your business without being limited to one type of content, length or format".

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Instagram long-form videos reportedly launching today, with celebrity-led push