Instagram unveils IGTV, a new standalone app for sharing hour-long vertical videos
Instagram has finally cleared the air regarding rumors and reports that the Facebook-owned social network was looking to get more heavily involved in video content. A new blog post on Instagram's website confirms the impending release of Instagram TV, a new standalone app with a focus on long-form, vertical-first video content.
As detailed by Instagram in its announcement blog post, Instagram TV — IGTV for short — is different from the main Instagram app in a few ways. 'First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.'
When you download and log in to IGTV, you shouldn't have to spend much time going out there and finding content from the get-go. Once you've logged into IGTV, any content creators you follow on Instagram will already be a part of your video content on IGTV. Akin to YouTube, IGTV calls each creator's page a 'channel,' although the call to action remains 'follow,' unlike 'subscribe' on YouTube.
From the second you open IGTV on your device, video content will immediately start playing. Instagram compares this to how a television automatically starts playing content when you turn it on, but it's more or less a fancy way of saying IGTV content is autoplay content.
To keep things familiar, IGTV makes it easy to keep tabs on your favorite creators and find new ones. As with the Instagram app, IGTV will feature a 'For You,' 'Following' and 'Popular' tab for navigation. There's also a new 'Continue Watching' section for revisiting old videos you didn't finish for whatever reason. You can also like, comment and share videos with friends via Instagram's direct messaging system.
In addition to being a standalone app, IGTV content will also appear in the main Instagram app. It's not known whether this cross-app integration will stay, as it seems to more or less to be an effort to get Instagram users onboard with the new app. Whatever the case, for the time being, you should be able to catch the latest content from the people you follow right within the Instagram app.
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