Instagram is pivoting to video in a big way today, with the launch of a sister app IGTV. The new app, that users can also get to on their Instagram Explore page, is branded as a video hub for creators that uses vertical video instead of horizontal. And who better to promote this new endeavor but a group of diverse Instagram influencers?
Popular Fornite streamer Ninja (real name Tyler Blevins) posted a group picture on Instagram an hour ago with several notable influencers, all with markedly different backgrounds and audiences. That, along with Lele Pons’ announcement on her Instagram Story this morning that she’ll be in San Francisco promoting a huge company announcement (the most famous out of the group by far), indicates these are the chosen personalities to orient the new app around.
This is Instagram’s biggest announcement since the original introduction of video to their platform five years ago, and the addition of Instagram stories, which many users saw as a copy of Snapchat.
The IGTV app will directly compete with platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Snapchat, especially with the focus on influencers who gain an audience using streaming services. To review, the group of influences selected today for promotion is the aforementioned Ninja and Lele Pons, along with makeup artist Manny MUA, K-pop dancer and Korean beauty guru Susie Shu, LA-based fitness personality and host Katie Austin, musical.ly stars Lauren Godwin and Bryce Xavier, and do-it-yourself YouTuber LauraDIY.
Instagram is clearly covering all of its bases with this eclectic mix, being sure to focus in on the kinds of personalities its younger audiences are paying attention to. The promotional site for IGTV notes that tweens and teens are spending more time watching amateur content creators and less time watching professionals.
Right now, IGTV is hosting a launch stream with more information about the service and the feature will allegedly debut today, although it is not currently appearing on Instagram users’ Explore pages.