Instagram adds TV feature after reaching 1 billion users

Gerardo Harmon
June 24, 2018

Instagram first launched in October 2010, which means it took less than eight years for it to hit that 1 billion user mark.

IGTV is completely built for mobile devices, allowing users to view all the latest videos from content creators they already follow on Instagram.

IGTV will be available as part of Instagram's mobile app and as its own app, Systrom said. The company is calling the app as "a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators." .

The videos will be in vertical format and since they will play as soon as the app is opened, users won't have to browse or search for anything to get started. However, it is accessible from the regular Instagram app.

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The objective appears to be to monetise the app and create a revenue stream through ads much like what YouTube videos do for Google.

"It's time for video to move forward, and evolve", said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, at the event.

Instagram today is finally taking on YouTube and Snapchat's Discover with a dedicated app - IGTV. Top followed accounts will be able to show video for up to an hour.

What do you think, will you be watching IGTV?

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IGTV also has channels, just like real TV, but here creators themselves are the channels.

Though IGTV is open to everyone now, a handful of influential users, like Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, and Kevin Hart, were early partners and have already started creating videos for their IGTV channels. I hate watching movie trailers in vertical format (thanks, Netflix!), and even considering long-form videos in the portrait format sounds very bad. The launch of IGTV not only paves the way for longer content, but it could also allow Instagram and its content partners make more money through advertising. There's four different categories for the videos: For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching.

Instagram today unveiled its newest effort, what it calls IGTV.

For now, IGTV will be ad-free to give focus on building engagement with its users.

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This will come as good news to those who felt stymied by the small files Instagram was allowing to be shared on their service previously.

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