Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Instagram expands into long videos, will compete with YouTube

Instagram expands into long videos, will compete with YouTube

The announcement was made at an event hosted by Instagram chief Kevin Systrom in San Francisco.

The app definitely holds some appealing new tools for Instagrammers who want to make longer videos.

"We are re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand", Instagram explained in a blog post.

On a more serious note, the app sounds like a riff off of YouTube's original creator content, and a mixture of Snapchat's Discover feature where content from popular users can be surfaced as well.

"The way we are watching video is changing", Systrom told the event. "IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram".

The report says that Instagram isn't looking for content that is "too polished" in the traditional TV show mould, but rather hoping that new-style Internet creators will set a more modern tone. This move could significantly increase that amount, making Instagram a destination for watching videos as much as checking up on friends' latest adventures.

Since then it has become a strong enginer of growth for Facebook in terms of users and ad revenues. In this case, Instagram is mimicking Google's YouTube. Instagram hasn't talked about the possibility of turning off video autoplay when launching the service, but it's likely that it will be a requested feature. My favorite part is you have a scrub bar on videos now, meaning you don't just have to start every video at the beginning and wait for it to loop if you miss the part you wanted to see - which is how Instagram videos currently work.

Rolling out for the iOS and Android apps, IGTV will allow any user to upload videos up to 10 minutes long, with the limit for larger accounts at one hour.

That trend appears to be one of the reasons that Facebook is "hedging its bets" by opening Instagram to the longer-form videos typically found on YouTube, said analyst Paul Verna of the research firm eMarketer.

Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV which will give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising. "There will be a way for creators to make a living".

Snapchat, Instagram's main competitor, said in February it has 100 million monthly active users.

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