A few days ago, Instagram announced IGTV, a standalone app that permits watching a vertical video for a longer time and it also has a tab within it. From IGTV, you can watch vertical videos from people you follow and personalized recommendations from somewhere else on Instagram. The app is currently available on iOS and Android.
According to CEO Kevin Systrom, the app was designed to make finding and watching videos easier. He added that unlike most video apps that make you search through a directory, IGTV starts playing a video once it is opened.
In an attempt to turn the app into a home for mobile video to rival YouTube, a product manager stated that IGTV will allow for the upload of videos directly to Instagram by creators. At first, the video can be about 10 minutes long, larger accounts can post hour-long videos. But Systrom says IGTV will soon make it possible for all users to post videos of unlimited length.
At the beginning, there will be no room for ads, even though as stated CEO Systrom, it would be “a reasonable place to end up.” He also added that with time, a deal will be made on how to distribute revenue with its partners but not at first.
The 24-hour ephemeral stories and direct messaging features that were introduced by the company were an attempt to make Instagram a primary communication medium for its users. However, IGTV stands for expansion towards a different path which is connection of individuals to their more extensive interests. Systrom said that Instagram would do its best to make personal relationships and interests work hand-in-hand. According to him, “You can’t really get that anywhere else — that unique mix of the two.”
Instagram’s move into longer videos is kind of a way to get back at Snapchat, which has on its own part made some deals to turn its Discover tab into a place of that is sought after by younger viewers.