What Is IGTV? An Everything Guide to Instagram's New Video Launch

60-minute vertical videos, anyone?

by Catie Keck

Instagram announced Wednesday it would be rolling out a new initiative to its 1 billion users: IGTV. The new, longer-form video feature claims it will bring “audiences closer to the creators they love,” per an announcement on its website.

The new feature appears to push Facebook-owned Instagram closer to taking on the kind of content published by rival Google-owned YouTube with its roster of social media influencers and celebrities. Some content creators have already appeared to confirm they’re on board with Instagram’s new creator initiative.

What Is Instagram IGTV?

IGTV, which TechCrunch first reported on Tuesday is slated to launch today, will feature 15-second to 60-minute vertical and full-screen videos in 4K. Available as a standalone app and through Instagram Explore, the rollout is a massive update to its current cap of 60 seconds per video (excluding stories, which can livestream for longer periods of time). Per TechCrunch:

Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed. The idea is to let these creators, who have a knack for this style of content and who already have sizeable Instagram audiences, set the norms for what IGTV is about.

In an Instagram post coinciding with the platform’s longer-form video announcement, Tyler Blevins, better known by his video game streaming moniker Ninja (and best known for his Fortnite streams), appeared to insinuate that he would be joining Instagram as one such influencer.

“INSTAGRAM SQUAD,” Blevins wrote, tagging several other social media influencers who included Susie Shu, Katie Austin, Lauren Godwin, Manny Gutierrez, and several others.

What Does Instagram IGTV Look Like?

Digital media consultant Matt Navarra shared a screenshot Wednesday on Twitter that appeared to show the new layout for the longer-form feature.

In a video included in an announcement post on Instagram’s website (included at the top of this post), the platform confirmed its vertical and full-screen videos.

When Can People Use Instagram IGTV?

Though the feature will reportedly roll out Wednesday, it did not appear to be live in-app for users on the platform. In the live announcement for the feature, Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom simply said that the app would be available “in the coming days.”

When it does go live, IGTV will reportedly start playing as soon as users open the app. Instagram stated in its announcement that any user “can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web.”