Instagram celebrates 1 billion users by announcing IGTV video platform

Joann Johnston
June 22, 2018

In a blog post - which starts off by announcing the one billion user milestone - Instagram announced IGTV, a new mobile-oriented video service which will allow users to record videos up to one hour long. IGTV content will also be available in the Instagram app. IGTV videos will be able to go beyond the 60-second limit placed on videos uploaded on Instagram today. Anyone will be able to upload videos for Instagram's new IGTV section, which will display them full-screen and vertically, the way people naturally hold their phones.

Instagram notes on its new website promoting IGTV that mobile video content will make up for nearly 80% of all mobile data traffic within three years.

"We launched IGTV (a button inside the Instagram home screen, as well as a standalone app) at an event featuring numerous Instagram creators who'll make it great", the company wrote in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Both apps are available for download now in the App Store and Google Play.

Social network Instagram is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube. But eventually, it plans to make sure people making popular videos have a way to make money from their efforts, the company said.

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For weeks, creators had early access to IGTV so that when it launched on Wednesday there already was a library of videos, Systrom says.

The announcement was made at an event hosted by Instagram chief Kevin Systrom in San Francisco.

Creators uploading hour-long videos will have their own channel where their long-form video content will live. This will allow for more immersion, Instagram hopes, and longer sessions than the traditional app has allowed. Going ahead, Instagram may pay the video creators for their posts, though there is no such move now. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. The company also announced that it has amassed 1 billion users.

Systrom further explains, "Also like TV, IGTV has channels". Once you update your Instagram app, look for the IGTV logo on the top-right side of your feed, next to the DM button. It aims to work just like regular TV but with vertical videos. Some content is viewable on the Instagram app, but only for selected content creators. You can also follow channels from media brands, a la Snapchat Discover.

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