Instagram Launches YouTube Competitor IGTV

It was rumored a few weeks ago that Instagram was preparing to allow for long-form video content up to 60 minutes in length.

That rumor has manifested in the form of IGTV, a standalone app that is aimed to rival YouTube for mobile video content.

via The Verge:

When you log in to IGTV, it will automatically begin playing vertical videos from people you follow, along with personalized recommendations from elsewhere in Instagram. The app is now available on iOS and Android.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said the app was designed to make it easier to find and watch videos on the mobile phone. He noted that most video apps require you to search or browse through a directory — as opposed to television, where you simply turn it on and start watching. IGTV, on the other hand, will simply start playing video the moment you open it. Among other things, this “lean back” mode could make IGTV a powerful new place for Instagram to put ads.

IGTV will also allow creators to upload video directly to Instagram, a product manager said, representing an effort to turn the app into a home for mobile video to rival YouTube. Videos can be up to 10 minutes long to start, with larger accounts able to post hourlong videos. Over the long term, the company expects to let all users post videos of unlimited length, Systrom said.

There will be no ads on IGTV to start, but that would be “a reasonable place to end up,” Systrom said. He said there would be a revenue-sharing deal with partners eventually, but not to start.

IGTV is available now for iOS and Android devices.

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