Did you ever watch videos of people you follow on Instagram and wished that they were more than just one minute long? Well you will now get your wish as the photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook has just announced their newest product called IGTV, short for Instagram TV. Do we really need another app where we can watch videos? Apparently, we do! That’s what Facebook is hoping at least, by releasing a stand-alone app and at the same time, integrating it with the main Instagram app in case you don’t want to download another one.
There were rumors earlier that Instagram was releasing a new, stand-alone app but people were expecting a separate Stories app and even a Direct Messaging app. But apparently, what we’re getting is IGTV where users can watch long-form videos aside from the one-minuters from our main feed or the 15-seconders from the Stories feed. If you prefer to access these videos in a separate app, you can now download IGTV from the Google Play Store. But if you just want it to be part of your Instagram, you will be able to find the new section on the upper right corner of your app, beside the Direct Message icon. Here are some things that you may be interested to know about IGTV before diving into it.
No need to turn your phone because everything is vertical
Unlike YouTube or Facebook videos where you sometimes still have to turn your phone horizontally and then back vertically depending on the video you’re watching, everything here on IGTV is vertical. They say they built it around the idea that you mostly use your smartphone upright so all the videos that you will see here are full screen and vertical. So this will also be your guide when taking videos for IGTV.
Be vertical and take your time (well, at most 10 minutes)
So obviously, since you’re watching vertical videos on IGTV, this means that if you want to upload videos there, you’ll have to take vertical videos. First off, you’ll have to create your own channel based on your original IG account or you can create a different account altogether. However, if you’re just a small and new account, you will only be able to upload up to 10 minutes of video for now. But for everybody else, including IG celebrities and content creators, you can upload videos of up to an hour. But they did say this will expand to everybody eventually.
You can watch different channels and create your own
Just like with regular TV, you have channels on IGTV. However, instead of having shows or topics, the creators themselves are the channels. So if you just want to watch what other people are doing and not create any videos, it is pretty easy to do so. As soon as you open your app, there is a video already playing and if you want to browse something else, you can easily switch between the “For You”, “Following”, “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You will also be able to like, comment, and send videos to your friends through Direct.
Will IGTV be the (financial) future of Instagram?
For now, there will be no ads on IGTV. But knowing Facebook, they will of course find ways to monetize this soon. There are a lot of opportunities for brands and advertising here, but just like with other digital advertising, they will have to be creative so people will still watch their videos even if it’s obviously branded videos. You can now download IGTV or update your Instagram account and look for the TV icon next to the DM and start viewing channels and videos.