Instagram launches IGTV for long videos: All you need to know

To compete head-on with YouTube, Facebook-owned social network Instagram launched a mobile app today dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers’ time among ad-supported streaming services.

Called IGTV, the new video feature will allow users to play long videos in vertical format inside the existing Instagram as well as in the standalone app. The app is expected to roll-out both in iOS and Android in the next few weeks.

The service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists, and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers.

Here’s all you need to know about the new feature:

  • Videos published via IGTV can be up to 60 minutes long compared to the current 60 seconds limit.
  • Videos up to 10 minutes long can be uploaded from the mobile app
  • Videos of longer duration will have to be uploaded from a computer.
  • Videos must be in MP4 file format.
  • Videos should be vertical and not landscape with a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and maximum of 9:16.
  • The 10 minutes videos should not be more than 650MB
  • The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 5.4GB.
  • Like other content on Instagram, IGTV supports likes, comments and video sharing via Direct messages.

IGTV will be available as part of Instagram’s app and as a separate app. Most interestingly, the service does not have advertising at launch.

Check out the demo here, as shared by Instagram:

From our CEO @kevin: “Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (@laurdiy) posting her newest project or King Bach (@kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from 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 you actually use your 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. We made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV 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. Also like 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. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

A post shared by Instagram (@instagram) on


How IGTV works:

  • IGTV will let anyone be a creator. People will be able to upload vertical videos through Instagram’s app or the web.
  • When a user follows a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up in the news feed.
  • Everyone except smaller and new accounts will be able to upload hour-long videos immediately, with that option expanding to everyone eventually.
  • The new option will be available in the form of a ‘TV’ shaped icon.

“Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago. It’s time for the video to move forward and evolve,” Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said at the flashy launch event in San Francisco.

How to create your channel on IGTV:

  • Open the IGTV app and go to your profile.
  • Tap on IGTV and select ‘Create Channel’.
  • In addition, you can create a channel from Instagram app also.
  • For private accounts, only approved followers will be able to see the videos
  • However, anyone can see the videos for public accounts
  • IGTV can be shared on Facebook also

Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for USD 1 billion, has grown by adding features such as messaging and short videos. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, something like Snapchat’s popular “stories” feature.

Instagram, which was founded in 2010 as a photo-sharing app, has surpassed 1 billion users currently.

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