In a highly produced "show" in San Francisco, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced Wednesday that the company is launching a long-form video platform aimed at luring the kinds of online celebrity "creators" and fans who have long flocked to YouTube. Commenting on this, CEO Kevin Systrom said that "Instagram is now a global community of one billion!"
Instagram has just launched IGTV - the company's attempt at creating a YouTube-like, video-centric platform. When you follow people on Instagram and they make IGTV content, it'll show up as a channel that you can consume through both Instagram and IGTV apps. IGTV will start rolling globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS. First, it's built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical.
For starters, while it's possible to upload videos to IGTV from your computer, it's apparently only possible to watch videos from within the app. Smaller accounts will only be given 10-minute video limits, but Instagram did not specify the exact criteria for what qualifies an account for the longer video option.
Instagram is trying to bring a whole new concept to the world of video sharing platforms with its so-called IGTV network.
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"On Instagram, people are watching 60 percent more video than they did just a year ago", said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at the event. You can also follow channels from media brands, a la Snapchat Discover.
Still, this new platform won't quite have the flexibility of YouTube - for example, while one hour would be more than sufficient for most content creators, it's not exactly YouTube's generous maximum time of 12 hours. "It started with square photos and videos-those were the good old days right guys", said Systrom. IGTV videos are full screen and vertical. With IGTV, videos can be a max of 60-minutes-long. Here, the channels refer to the creators themselves. Instagram says it's not immediately paying for any content on the app, nor will it start with any advertising. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. Instagram will also look to ways for creators to monetize their content - an effort Facebook has been focused on for a while now.
Systrom also mentioned that IGTV could eventually blossom into something distinct from the current Instagram experience.
More importantly, 72 percent of USA kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second to YouTube at 85 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.