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Instagram Launches Long-Form Video: Should YouTube Worry?

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After hitting one billion users, popular social media platform Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (FB - Free Report) , launched a new feature and standalone app called IGTV. The app will strive to be mobile friendly, simple and curated.

With the new app, users will be able to watch long-form vertical videos from their favorite content creators, as well as post their own videos. The videos can be up to an hour long now, rather than 60 seconds, giving creators more access and flexibility on the content they decide to post.

Although there is a separate app, the feature will also be available in the original Instagram app, giving all one billion of its users first hand access to it from the very beginning. Just like normal TV, a channel will pop up when you open the app and these channels will be the creators that might be suggested for you, under the popular category or who you are following.

When Instagram was first launched, it was mostly about sharing your photos and following those accounts which intrigued you. Now, it has become a platform of video sharing, advertising your brand, and creating an image for yourself. With IGTV, not only will creators get to enhance their brand, but everyday users can use that hour of video for whatever they wish. In Instagram’s blog post, they mentioned that with IGTV, they want their users to develop a sense of deeper storytelling and to build stronger connections with the content and creators they watch.

According to TechCrunch, Instagram has the opportunity to become the TV of mobile, seeing as many users, especially younger generations, don’t really watch actual TV. People are always on their phones, so with IGTV, they will be able to watch their favorite “shows” that creators upload.

As of now, the app doesn’t have any ads, but CEO Kevin Systrom said that it is a very reasonable place for ads to end up. Systrom said that since creators will be investing so much of their time into IGTV, he wants there to be a monetization option in the future, with the app potentially bringing in ad revenue shares.

With this new tool, Instagram hopes to bring its users closer to the content they enjoy and use mobile entertainment as their primary source. Instagram hopes to beat Snap Inc.’s (SNAP - Free Report) Snapchat’s Discover feature and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) YouTube TV with IGTV. Although YouTube TV has a lot of content under its belt, with the curation of different creators and their coveted published content, IGTV could potentially be the go-to place to watch what interests you.


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