Instagram is now ready to take on YouTube head on. The photo-sharing platform has announced that it will allow users to upload videos of up to 1 hour in length. The announcement came today during a flashy event in San Francisco. Instagram has always allowed users to post videos but the limit was one minute. This is now changing and in order to facilitate the hosting of these long 1-hour long videos, Instagram is launching a new service called IGTV.
The feature will be accessible inside the Instagram home screen but you can also download the standalone to your smartphone. IGTV will be used by the social media platform to spotlight popular videos from content creators on the platform. Instagram has in the past few months been working on a possible feature on its platform that could give users more leeway in the kind of videos they can share on the platform. The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch had all reported that the long video sharing feature would be coming to Instagram and it was only a matter of time.
Speaking during the launch, Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, said that it’s time for video to move forward. Systrom added that IGTV is a tool designed for watching long videos from your favorite creators. The details of the new feature also appeared on the Instagram blog.
So, how does IGTV works?
The feature will allow everyone to become a content creator. You don’t need to be a big-time celebrity to share long videos on the platform. You will have the chance to upload vertical videos through the Instagram app or the web. The 1-hour videos will be open to everyone except small accounts. Instagram says that eventually it will expand this option to all users regardless of their account size.
The IGTV app will be released today, and will be available on both iOS and Android platforms. The app will be dedicated to Instagram videos. It will work as a tool that brings the videos uploaded on the platform together and gives you access through one simple tap. It’s essentially the YouTube from Instagram.
You can also create your own channels on the IGTV app to share your different videos. Users can subscribe to your channel if they want. Instagram made it clear that there won’t be ads on IGTV at the moment. However, this may change in the future depending on how Instagram fans respond to the new service.
In addition to this, Instagram’s CEO said that because creators will be investing a lot of resources in developing the videos, the photo-sharing platform will provide tools in the future that allow them to monetize their content. However, Instagram has made it clear that it won’t pay creators directly for the videos they post on the platform. The content will be posted free of charge.