Instagram has officially hit one billion monthly active users and the service has celebrated by launching a new feature branded IGTV. The new function lets anyone upload videos to the section, which is being made available as a separate app for both Android and iOS.
Explaining how the new service will work, Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO, said in a statement: “IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.
We’ve made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.
Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love.
Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.”
IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS.
Instagram also revealed that it now has over one billion users since launching in 2010.
“For the ad industry, it’s fascinating to watch how the video format continues to change and evolve,” remarked Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK. “It’s been a huge talking point at Cannes Lions this year. People are really advocating for video’s ability to inspire emotion in viewers, and go beyond a short sales snapshot for a brand; for example, Christie’s Auction House last year ran a four-minute video ad for its Leonardo da Vinci painting auction, showing visitors’ emotional reaction to viewing the painting for the first time.”
“It comes back to the old art versus science debate. Short videos optimised using data segments and audience targeting may quickly grab people’s attention, but do they leave a lasting impression? Do they make us feel something? Yes, shorter formats have their place in the advertising mix, but IGTV will give brands more creative license to build campaigns that are less hurried and can connect with consumers on a deeper level. It is a refreshing change of pace in an online world where we’re all too used to being bombarded with rapid-fire content.”
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