Instagram has launched ‘IGTV’. IGTV (short for ‘Instagram TV’) is the social media platform’s new long-form video sharing service.
Video capabilities have previously been available on Instagram, but these were limited to a maximum of 30-seconds. Now, IGTV allows users to upload videos up to an hour in length.
How do I use it? Assuming you already have an Instagram account, and the app installed on your smart phone, accessing IGTV is simple. Just open the app, and look for the orange coloured TV icon in the top-right hand corner. Pressing on that will take you to IGTV, where you’ll be able to view videos from the people you follow and popular “creators” (such as celebrities, internet personalities etc).
Instagram TV (IGTV) is both a new section of the Instagram app, and a new standalone app in its own right for iOS and Android. With the standalone app, videos will begin playing automatically once you open it. In the original app you have to open the IGTV section, where you’ll see video content from people you follow. The videos will be displayed vertically and full screen. Therefore the videos ought to be optimised for viewing on a phone. But they won’t be limited to one minute like the videos you send on Instagram. They can be up to an hour long.
Instagram are not paying anyone for content on the app and they don’t currently have plans for advertising. This will inevitably change when they have a hefty number of videos on the app. They also say they have a plan for helping video-makers monetise their content, and this will almost certainly have to do with ads.
According to Bloomberg, Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users earlier this month, and is expected to make revenue past $10 billion over the next 12 months. Instagram is attracting new users faster than Facebook’s main site and is on track to exceed 2 billion users within the next five years. While the social network already has surpassed that milestone, Instagram’s audience is younger than its parent, making it more attractive to advertisers. And unlike Facebook, Instagram is still growing in the U.S.