YouTube may be facing some sharp competition soon. Instagram announces it will begin allowing users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the previous one-minute limit. Housing the new longer-form videos is a new app called IGTV.
“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. “IGTV is for watching long-from videos from your favorite creators.”
IGTV will let anyone be a creator. People will be able to upload vertical videos through Instagram’s app or the web. Everyone except smaller and new accounts will be able to upload hour-long videos immediately, with that option expanding to everyone eventually.
The IGTV app is available globally on iOS and Android from today. You can access it from the Instagram app through a TV shaped button above Stories.
Viewers will be able to swipe through a variety of longer-form videos, or swipe up to visit a Browse tab of personally recommended videos, popular videos, creators they’re following and the option to continue watching previously started videos. Users will also get callouts from the IGTV button alerting them to new content.
The app will also let creators develop Instagram Channels full of their different videos that people can subscribe to. Creators will be able to put links in the description of their videos to drive traffic elsewhere.
Since creators are investing a lot of time into IGTV videos, Instagram wants to make the platform sustainable for creators. A monetization option for creators is in the works, and has a potential for backing from big advertisers.
As television becomes less relevant, platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are looking to become the new sources of video entertainment. With IGTV, Instagram is acclimating to the times to potentially become the TV of mobile.