In Brief

Instagram IGTV launches today: here’s how it works

Facebook-owned firm hopes to attract web celebrities with long-form video hub

Instagram has launched its new IGTV long-form video hub in a bid to attract content creators away from rival YouTube.

Unveiled at a press conference in San Francisco this morning, IGTV will allow users to create and upload videos lasting up to an hour, significantly longer than the previous limit of just 60 seconds. 

The Facebook-owned company hopes the new feature will attract web celebrities, such as those who rose to fame on YouTube. IGTV will offer a link-out option so creators can drive traffic to their other social presences, websites, or online stores, Forbes reports.

The new video feature isn’t aimed exclusively at celebrities. Anyone can begin uploading long-form videos from today, says TechCrunch

However, “smaller and new accounts” won’t be able to upload hour-long clips immediately, the tech news site adds. This feature will initially be reserved for accounts with larger followings, although Instagram plans to unlock hour-long videos for everyone else at a later date.

How does it work?

IGTV can be accessed in two ways. The first is through a dedicated app, which can be downloaded for free on either Apple’s iOS devices or gadgets running Android. The video hub can also be accessed through the standard Instagram app via a small icon at the top right-hand side of the home menu. 

Users are required to set up their own dedicated channel, as with YouTube, where all of the video they upload will be stored, says the BBC. Those who already have an Instagram account will have a channel created for them automatically. 

Users can upload larger video files through an online web browser, the broadcaster continues. Previously, all Instagram users had to share pictures and clips via the smartphone app. 

Once the app is open, users can flick between four different sections: For You, Following, Popular and Continue Watching. 

For You features videos that may appeal to the user, based on the content that they have posted themself. The Following section shows videos posted by the user’s followers. The Popular section offers a selection of clips that have been liked by the community, while Continue Watching lets users return to videos that they have not finished viewing. 

What about adverts?

Ads won’t appear on IGTV to begin with, says Wired, but “they’re coming”.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told the tech news site: “Right now we’re focused on building engagement, and there are no ads in IGTV in day one.

“But that is a very reasonable place to end up. There will obviously be a way for creators to make a living since they spend their lives doing this.”

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