Nothing says more about the release of a new app from a social media giant than technical difficulties or an early released blog post, spoiling the news.
That’s exactly what happened with the release of IGTV, a new standalone video app from Instagram, announced at a special event today. The app opens up to vertically oriented videos and lets any user—not just celebrities or brands—upload videos (only up to an hour long for verified or large accounts), either on the app or website. IGTV will also include “channels,” that allow users to follow a single creator directly. The company also announced it now has 1 billion monthly active users.
Instead of attracting media companies and their content, the new app wants content creators and influencers to make that hot content on Instagram instead of YouTube.
“Instagram moving into longer form video content makes sense given Facebook’s continued investment in Watch,” said Rachel Tipograph, founder and CEO of MikMak, a social video commerce company. “For creators who upload longform content to Instagram, quality storytelling that demands someone’s continued engagement is paramount.”
For now, Instagram remains mum on how and when it’ll choose to monetize the section. IGTV, however, will let creators link out to websites, creating a bigger revenue opportunity for brands and influencers.