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There’s a new Instagram feature and it’s actually good news

24 June 2018

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says that the whole idea of IGTV is to make it easier for users to find videos to watch on their smartphone, apparently conveniently forgetting that there area already a billion apps that offer exactly that, including the current incumbent, YouTube.

Mr Systrom also announced a new feature enabling some users to share long-form videos up to one-hour long. Anyone can be a creator - you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.

Videos shown seem to be catered to the viewer's interests based on, but not limited to accounts that they have been following on Instagram.

And furthermore like television - and YouTube - Instagram's TV offering also has "channels" which are effectively the creators' portals.

As you watch, you can like videos, leave a comment, and follow others. Instead of the photos and short clips you're used to, you will now see extensive videos from IGTV users on the Explore tab.

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At the same time, Instagram has introduced its new long-form video app called IGTV. The app will be available for download on iOS and Android smartphones in the coming days, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told a gathering of influencers and members of the press today at an event held in San Francisco. Some content is viewable on the Instagram app, but only for selected content creators. Following a creator on Instagram gives you access to their channel.

The Instagram effort is most similar to what Snap Inc. has done with the Discover section of Snapchat. 'IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. The first is a new milestone for the Facebook-owned social network as Instagram revealed it now has 1 billion users worldwide.

Instagram previously capped video posts at 60 seconds. In the meantime, Instagram will integrate IGTV into its main app via an update slated to arrive today.

In September, Instagram said it had some 800 million monthly active users. When you log in to IGTV, it will immediately begin playing vertical videos from people you follow. In any case, Instagram wants to allow anyone to get famous on Instagram TV, "not just the people who already have large audiences".

There’s a new Instagram feature and it’s actually good news