- Instagram has revealed it now has 1 billion users worldwide since it first launched in 2010.
- It also announced plans to launch a new app, IGTV, designed to show longer videos of up to one hour.
- The app will launch sometime in the next few weeks for Android and iOS and is meant to compete with YouTube.
Instagram is making not one, but two big announcements today. The first is a new milestone for the Facebook-owned social network as Instagram revealed it now has 1 billion users worldwide. Instagram first launched in October 2010, which means it took less than eight years for it to hit that 1 billion user mark. By contrast, its parent Facebook took over eight years to reach that number.
The other big announcement, and one that has been rumored for the past several days, is the reveal of an upcoming standalone app, IGTV. It will allow Instagram video creators to upload vertically formatted clips of up to one hour in length. At the moment, Instagram allows users to post videos up to just 60 seconds on their profile, and just 15 seconds in Instagram Stories. The IGTV app will go live sometime in the next few weeks for Android and iOS.
Instagram says the new app will include features like being able to begin watching content from people you already follow on Instagram right when you launch the app. You will also be able to switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching” categories. Each Instagram creator will have an IGTV channel with all of their longer video clips. Finally, the IGTV app allows you to like and comment on those videos, as well as send them to friends in Direct. All of the longer videos in the IGTV app will also be available to watch in the main Instagram app.
This new move clearly shows that Instagram and Facebook are going after both the video creators and fans who are addicted to Google’s YouTube service. Offering longer videos to Instagram’s 1 billion audience members could result in a ton of competition for those viewers. Instagram will also likely leverage this longer video format for advertisers as well. The big question is whether or not users will embrace the vertical video format, or stick with the traditional horizontal video clips found on YouTube.