At an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Instagram revealed that the company's monthly active users surpassed the one billion mark, having gained 200 million users since the last update in September 2017. Though it's still only half of its parent company Facebook's users, hosting a billion users on its platform is a huge achievement for an eight-year-old company.
With that and much to everyone's surprise, Instagram announced the launch of the new social video content app service IGTV.
"Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love," Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO, said in a statement.
With more than one billion active users on Instagram and up to one-hour video upload feature, IGTV poses a stiff challenge to the Google's YouTube, which has long been the most attractive choice for video content creators and consumers.
For now, IGTV shortcut is available in the Instagram app. Though we won't be surprised if Facebook, in a bid to boost the IGTV subscription, decides to incorporate a shortcut on its social media platform as well.
Instagram IGTV: All you need to know
- IGTV, a standalone app, will be available on both the iOS and Android platforms
- It can also be viewed directly from Instagram by simply tapping on the small TV icon next to the DM icon
- Anybody can create a channel of their own, upload videos and start streaming
- Initially, recently joined Instagram users with fewer followers will be able to upload videos up to 10 minutes (currently, Instagram allows videos that are less than 60 seconds long) Long-time users with a large number of followers can post up to one hour of content.
Instagram has promised to extend it to unlimited in near future
- Creators will have the freedom to post hyperlinks in the description of their video and divert traffic to other platforms of their choice
- No annoying ads inside the videos (at least for now) but it may change as Instagram wants to monetize it so that the content creators sustain their business
As of now, content creators can only upload pre-recorded videos on Instagram IGTV but the company has plans to add the live streaming option in near future.
The company has confirmed that the Instagram IGTV app for Android and iOS will be rolled out in the coming days.