Instagram announced on Wednesday debuted its new long-form video feature, IGTV and the platform will allow users to create and watch 15-second to 60-minute videos, but with vertical orientation. IGTV will be housed in Instagram but is also a new stand-alone app.
All videos in IGTV will be specifically made with vertical orientation so they can be watched on your phone. For creators, this means they can’t port horizontal videos already made into the IGTV format. Instagram is intentionally requiring that videos be at least 15 seconds, signaling an interest in fostering a platform exclusively for longform video.
The announcement pinpointed search navigation and choice as a problem, and claims to solve these issues by having video from “creators” already playing when you open the app. From the video, you can navigate to discover channels by swiping up. They’ll include “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” IGTV also allows you to comment on posts and follow users as you normally would in the Instagram that we know and love.
According to Instagram, IGTV will be accessible Wednesday, but in a later statement Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said it would be available “in the coming days.”
Despite the feature (and app) not actually being out yet, Instagram has released detailed instructions on how to use it.
The news coincided with Instagram achieving a primary goal of reaching a billion monthly active users. Now that the company actively engages 13 percent of the global population, they can move on to engaging at least 13 percent of its daily time.
The announcement was previewed by reports in the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Instagram’s own business team, which appears to have published details about the feature before the official announcement. This page was published shortly before Instagram’s live announcement was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, but was pulled down when the announcement broadcast was delayed by nearly 20 minutes.
The live announcement itself was broadcast through Instagram Live, which appeared to create a few hiccups. Besides the late and awkward start, where the broadcasting iPhone navigated through the crowd to the sound of static and ended with a silent shot of Kevin Systrom inexplicably flashing a peace sign on a bike, the picture was consistently blurry and pixelated. Not the best message to send about your product during a product announcement.