Instagram hits one billion user mark and promises long video feature

Instagram hits one billion user mark and promises long video feature

At an event in San Francisco today, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said long-form videos will be introduced as an in-app feature as well as a new standalone app, IGTV, which is expected to be launched in coming weeks.

Instagram has made IGTV a lot like "turning on the TV": It starts playing as soon as you open the app, and you don't have to search to start watching content you already follow. "IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram".

"We've created IGTV to showcase mobile video the way it should be - fully immersive", Facebook and Instagram ANZ managing director Will Easton says.

Unlike on Instagram, the videos in IGTV won't be limited to just one minute - they can be up to an hour long.

From the moment you log into IGTV, it's created to start playing video - just like the TV. Instead of the photos and short clips you're used to, you will now see extensive videos from IGTV users on the Explore tab.

InstagramHow do you post videos to IGTV?

Systrom also revealed on Wednesday that Instagram now has 1 billion monthly active users - up from 800 million users last September. The big question is whether or not users will embrace the vertical video format, or stick with the traditional horizontal video clips found on YouTube.

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It will be a separate section - a separate app, rather - that can also be accessed through a brand new TV-shaped button above "Stories" on the IG home-screen.

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

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

IGTV is built for viewing on your phone, meaning videos are full screen and vertical.

With IGTV, Instagram now has another way to bring in revenue through ads.

Through a blog post announcing the new service, Instagram pointed out that this is indeed longer vertical video. And like most of social media, anyone can be a creator so you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Cool. But if it's not your thing, you ... Younger audiences are apparently spending more time watching amateur content creators in place of professionals.

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