Instagram Debuts IGTV, Channels Created By Users

Taking its video strategy to the next level, Instagram just launched IGTV -- a place for users to watch content up to an hour in length. IGTV is launching in two forms: as a separate app and a dedicated section of Instagram’s flagship app.

Tailored for easy mobile viewing, full-screen videos begin playing the moment users open the new app.

Mirroring a TV-like viewing experience, IGTV will be made up of “channels” created by any one of Instagram’s users. The Facebook unit says it recently surpassed 1 billion members, worldwide.

Ready to begin entertaining users the second they open IGTV, the new video hub will come populated with content from creators users already follow. 

“When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, explained in an official announcement.

Along with users, Instagram is hoping to get brands pumped about its new, TV-like video platform.

“Longer vertical video on Instagram makes it even easier to get closer to your audience and be discovered by new people,” the unit’s marketing materials insist. “Build stronger connections with potential customers as you showcase other dimensions of your business without being limited to one type of content, length or format.”

Once dominated by still images, Instagram has become a multimedia haven, adding video support five years ago. Just recently, Instagram added Video Chat with which people can connect in real-time via video.

Instagram also redesigned Explore to make it easier to discover things of interest to individual users. Among other changes, the new Explore began organizing suggested content into relevant topic channels.

At Snap’s expense, Instagram is continuing to gain ground with influencers, research suggests.

Over the year, 92% of marketers and 88% of influencers report using Instagram more often for influencer-marketing campaigns, Activate recently found.

Yet during the same time period, 86% of marketers and 89% of influencers reported using Snapchat less for influencer-marketing campaigns, according to the influencer-marketing firm formerly known as Bloglovin’.

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