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June 20, 2018updated 21 Jun 2018 10:40am

Instagram Tops 1 Billion, Launches Long-Play Video App

Move opens up new advertising market for owner Facebook amid teen shift to Snapchat, Youtube

By CBR Staff Writer

Instagram users are no longer restricted to 60 second videos.

The Facebook-owned social media giant – which today announced it had topped one billion global users – has rolled out a new “IGTV” feature that allows users to share videos of up to 10 minutes long; 60 minutes for those with large audiences.

IGTV has been designed around mobile and can be downloaded either as a separate app or used within Instagram. It plays videos vertically and full-screen, Instagram said.

The move represents an opportunity for Facebook – which has been losing a younger demographic to Instagram and Snapchat – to sell more advertising.

(A poll of US teens aged 13-17 last month by Pew Research found that Snapchat was the most regularly used platform at 35 percent. Youtube second with 32 percent, Instagram in third place with 15 percent and Facebook on 10 percent.)

The launch comes as Facebook shares touched a record high of $199.58 on Monday, less than two months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Q1 results outperformed analysts expectations meanwhile, with ad revenues sharply up.

Credit: Socialbakers

“Creators are the Channels”

Introducing IGTV, CEO Kevin Systrom wrote: “We strived to make it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests.”

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He added: “Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.”

Not everyone was impressed…

IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. You can learn more by visiting the Instagram Help Center.

 

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