Instagram hits 1 billion users, launches Instagram TV

By Chris Dawson June 21, 2018 - 10:37 am

Instagram hit 1 billion users and at the same time have launched a broadside at YouTube with Instagram TV or IGTV as they’re calling it.

YouTube and Vimeo are the defacto go to websites for video content, so how does Instagram set themselves aside? Simple, we’ve all seen videos shot on a mobile phone in portrait mode and they don’t display well on the invariable landscape video players, so Instagram have gone portrait for video. No point fighting the way that consumers use their smartphones when you can differentiate yourself by working how your users want you to work.

Instagram want to become THE platform for long-form, vertical video and there’s no short limits for videos, they can be up to 1 hour long signifying that they want indepth content and this is not Snapchat style transient type of content.

IGTV is simple to use, it 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.

Like normal 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.

And that’s the interesting part, anyone can upload their own IGTV content so if you’re an ecommerce merchant take a look and decide if it’s for you. If you can upload compelling content regarding your products – how to make them, how to use them, what they can do, or even video from your warehouse then you’ll get a new engaged audience who will be fed content each time they open the Instagram TV app.

IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS.

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