Instagram Hits One Billion Users Worldwide And Launches New IGTV

Getty Images

Getty Images

Instagram on Wednesday launched IGTV, a new long-from video platform that gives marketers another way to reach its vast audience - which now stands at 1 billion users.

Videos start playing as soon as the app is opened based on the people you already follow on Instagram. People wanting to watch a one hour video on their TV, for instance, won't enjoy wasted screen real estate and black bars.

Instagram shared some stats on its website promoting the IGTV that mobile video content will make up for 80 percent of the total mobile data traffic in the next three years.

During its event this afternoon, Instagram brought on stage content creator Lele Pons, who now has more than 25.1 million followers on the platform, to talk about a new cooking show she's planning for IGTV.

With minimal navigation, users can swipe between the sections "For You", "Following", "Popular" and "Continue Watching".

Just like you can on Instagram, IGTV lets you like, comment on, and send videos to friends via Instagram Direct messaging. IGTV will be available as a standalone app and a tab inside the core Instagram app.

IGTV is an app that users must download separately from Instagram on iOS and Android.

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Instagram revealed the video platform in San Francisco on Wednesday, at an event attended by web celebrities like gamer Tyler Blevins, also known as Ninja, and Lele Pons, who has 25 million followers. However, it is accessible from the regular Instagram app. With IGTV, the creators are the channels.

Many social influencers have already uploaded to IGTV to get a feel for the new feature. At the moment, Instagram allows users to post videos up to just 60 seconds on their profile, and just 15 seconds in Instagram Stories.

The official Instagram page released the above video, along with an announcement about the new service, saying, "IGTV is different in a few ways".

Systrom resisted talking advertising on IGTV at the launch, but you could bet the company will not make IGTV an ad-free portal.

Instagram announced a new service and app today called IGTV. Once you're viewing it (in either form) you'll be able to watch videos that are up to an hour. You will be able to view the content using the Instagram app too, apparently.

- Mobile-first: IGTV is built for how you naturally use and hold your phone, so videos are all full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren't limited to one minute.

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