Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators.
First, being designed and meant for consumption on mobile devices means that videos on IGTV will be vertical and take up the entire screen, letting users hold the phone as they usually do while using it. "IGTV is for watching long-form videos from your favourite creators", said Kevin, at the event.
IGTV is different from any mobile video experience today.
According to The Verge "Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said the app was created to make it easier to find and watch videos on the mobile phone".
Videos start playing as soon as the app is opened based on the people you already follow on Instagram.
With minimal navigation, users can swipe between the sections "For You", "Following", "Popular" and "Continue Watching". The difference between Instagram and IGTV, however, is that the latter pushes vertical videos only and can last up to an hour.
In a blog post from Instagram's co-founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom, he draws comparisons between IGTV and traditional TV, rather than other creator content platforms, such as YouTube.
There will be a stand-alone IGTV app, but the content will also be available on the existing Instagram app. Because of that, Systrom wanted IGTV to be Instagram's answer to that paradigm shift so as to be able to meet their growing consumption needs. As for now IGTV is ad-free, but companies are sure to make use of this new streaming platform for targeted ads pretty soon.
According to the research firm eMarketer, 181.7 million Americans will watch video content on their smartphones at least once a month this year, up 6.1per cent from a year ago.
But while the convenience of watching full-screen vertically could be a hit, viewers may not be as pleased about burning their data to load hour-long videos.
The other big announcement, and one that has been rumored for the past several days, is the reveal of an upcoming standalone app, IGTV. Instagram will also likely leverage this longer video format for advertisers as well. You can upload your own videos there, too.
Once you open the IGTV app, content from individuals that you follow will automatically begin playing. The photo and video-sharing platform has added 200 million users since September of a year ago, which in itself was a growth of 200m users on the same time in 2016. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day.
And speaking of apps, there really is a separate IGTV app on the way.
Systrom further explains, "Also like TV, IGTV has channels".