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Instagram’s long form video app IGTV to compete with YouTube

Dependent completely on user-generated content, the service will be available on the existing Instagram app and through an exclusive IGTV app

Kevin Systrom

Aimed at collating user-generated content from Instagram creators, Instagram has announced the launch of IGTV, which seems to be designed for taking YouTube head-on. The announcement was made at an event in San Francisco, along with the news of hitting the one billion global community mark.

While the number of users of YouTube is way much more than that of Instagram, the format of content gathering and accessing by the users is quite similar. Launched in 2010, Instagram has come a long way, though the UGC (video content) format has so far not done wonders with anyone else, but YouTube.

IGTV, the new app, is being offered for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators like LaurDIY posting her newest project for King Bach, sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, it is also available within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start.

IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how one actually uses the phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.

Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. One doesn’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others one might like based on interests. One can swipe up to discover more – switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When one follows a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for them to watch. Anyone can be a creator; one can upload their own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start own channel.

Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder and CEO, Instagram, said, “IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS. You can learn more by visiting the Instagram Help Center. To download and embed pictures and other collaterals in your story please click here.”

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