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Instagram rivals YouTube, unveils 'IGTV' mobile app for hour-long videos

24 June 2018

Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators.

IGTV is a new app for watching long-form vertical video from Instagram creators. Videos appear in full-screen and vertical format - "it's built for how you actually use your phone", the company said in a statement.

Calling IGTV its "most exciting feature to date", Instagram explained that videos on the app are fullscreen and vertical, optimized for watching on a smartphone. First of all, it'll start playing videos as soon as a person opens the app, just like a TV. Users will also be able to discover IGTV content within the Explore tab on Instagram.

Instagram held an event in San Francisco, California, to unveil the new standalone app.

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Mr Systrom said: "The way we are watching video is changing". Simply upload videos in the app or on the web to start your platform. There are also channels, and celebrities themselves can be channels.

Instagram (IG), a Facebook subsidiary, is apparently chasing after another business this time, as it recently released a new feature to the IG app. "But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels", he says.

Systrom resisted talking advertising on IGTV at the launch, but you could bet the company will not make IGTV an ad-free portal.

Unlike Stories' fleeting 60 second clips, IGTV's video length is limited to 3600 seconds. With that said, I also enjoy watching content on Twitch.

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Meanwhile, Instagram is obviously trying to give YouTube a run for its money as it also highlights having "channels" maintained by popular content creators. It's created to promote long-form video content and, as you might have already guessed, the focus will be on vertical videos.

Some more on the new service. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day.

Two years ago, users would spend about 26% more of their time on videos under 5 minutes long, but they're now spending 16% more of their time on videos longer than 20 minutes, indicating a shift in the industry - and ad dollars.

The number highlights the surging growth of the Facebook-owned social network which allows users to share photos and video.

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Instagram rivals YouTube, unveils 'IGTV' mobile app for hour-long videos