Instagram has decided to open its platform to long-form video and go head to head with YouTube. Users will be able to upload hour-long video content that will live within the app on its new IGTV platform, and a standalone IGTV app.
Instagram which is owned by Facebook made the announcement during an event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
“I have some really big news — the big news is that we are now a global community of a billion monthly actives on Instagram,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Kevin Systrom at the start of the IGTV event. From there the CEO launched into details around Instagram’s new IGTV platform, offering up a variety of stats around video consumption on the platform.
“On Instagram, people are watching 60 percent more video than they did just last year,” said Systrom.” An entirely new category of video now exists, and it’s being made by creators. Teens may be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online.”
Instagram also announced that the platform had reached 1 billion users. According to Systrom, that makes Instagram one of the largest and most engaged audiences in the world.
This makes a lot of sense for Instagram to go this route. It will also open up a new channel for ad revenue which the CEO acknowledged. They plan to run ads on the videos in the same way that YouTube does.
It will be interesting to watch how this new platform is received and what if any effect it has on YouTube. Will some of the most famous YouTubers jump ship or simply start posting on IGTV as well?