With 1 billion users now under its belt, Instagram has launched IGTV. Literally Instagram TV. This is the next stage of Instagram’s evolution, and an obvious attempt to compete with YouTube. And given Instagram’s meteoric rise, they may just pull it off.
There have been rumors for weeks that Instagram was planning to move in on YouTube’s territory. And so it came to pass, with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom unveiling IGTV at an event in San Francisco. And here’s what you need to know about IGTV…
What Is Instagram TV?
As detailed on the Instagram Blog, IGTV is Instagram’s take on YouTube, albeit with some differences. IGTV is a new app full of longform video from Instagram creators. And, as well as the standalone app, IGTV content will be available on Instagram itself.
The most obvious difference between IGTV and YouTube is that videos will all be presented vertically. Which, for a generation used to watching everything horizontally, will take some getting used to. Still, it makes sense on smartphones.
On Instagram, videos are limited to just one minute. However, IGTV ups that limit to one hour. Initially, only popular creators will be able to upload videos of that length, but over time Instagram plans to roll the option out to anyone and everyone.
Unlike YouTube, IGTV will start playing videos as soon as you open the app. In other words, Instagram has designed IGTV to be more like traditional TV, presenting content they think you’re going to enjoy without you having to search for it.
You do have the option to browse though, with sections named “For You,” “Following,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching”. Each creator will have their own channel too, and that includes you if you decide to upload your own IGTV videos.
IGTV Is Taking Over
IGTV is available to download on Android and on iOS right now. And even if you don’t want to install the standalone app there is an IGTV button you can click in the regular Instagram app. So you’re not going to be able to avoid Instagram TV.