Instagram is branching out from photos in a big way. The company already lets you use a smartphone to upload and share short videos up to a minute in length. But now Instagram is launching a new service called IGTV that supports videos up to an hour in length.
It’ll be available both as a standalone app for iOS and Android and within the main Instagram app.
In some ways this is Instagram’s attempt to go after YouTube in the user-generated video space. But IGTV is taking a different, clearly mobile-first approach: all of the videos will be in portrait mode.
In some ways, Snapchat is probably a better comparison… but unlike Snaps, IGTV videos don’t expire. Instagram refers to IGTV content as “longer, permanent” videos.
The IGTV experience will feature curated videos from top content creators, and when you launch IGTV videos will start to play automatically with no browsing or searching required. Videos will also continue to play while you browse for the next thing to watch.
You don’t need to be a celebrity to upload videos, but you’re probably less likely to attract new viewers unless you’ve already got a following.
At launch the service will be ad-free, but Instagram is expected to monetize the service in some way in the future, possibly developing some sort of revenue sharing system to compensate video makers for their content.