Have you considered how much television you’ve watched recently? Sure, you might not be sitting down on the couch with the remote control, but you’re more than likely still consuming videos digitally.
In recent years, digital alternatives to traditional TV have become increasingly popular. Between streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and social networks like Facebook and YouTube, consumers have so many options for how they watch original content.
Social media, in particular, has become a hotspot for substitutes to cable television. Well, move over, YouTube TV. Step aside Facebook Watch. The latest platform offering authentic, original videos is Instagram’s IGTV.
On June 20, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announced the launch of the program that will allow users to watch “long-form, vertical video” from creators and brands alike. In addition, Systrom publicized that Instagram had recently reached more than one billion monthly users—making the launch of IGTV an exciting one for the Facebook-owned company.
Here are four things to know about this latest development in digital television.
- You can watch IGTV on the new app or directly on Instagram.
Instagram launched a whole new app dedicated to the video platform. Users can download the IGTV app and treat it just like a real television—because when you open it, it immediately starts playing videos from the people you follow. Instagram users can also access IGTV content at the top of their feed near the existing Instagram stories.
- IGTV allows users to create longer and optimized video content.
Different from live videos or stories, Instagram’s IGTV allows users to create longer videos that are more suited for mobile viewers. IGTV videos are vertical and can be created by anyone, so all users will have a chance to share content if they so desire. Instead of short, minute-long videos or stories, IGTV allows users to create content up to an hour long. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, IGTV users are also able to upload their content to Facebook Watch.
- Channels allow you to see content from the people you follow.
Through new IGTV channels, users will be able to watch “channels” of the people they follow—from bloggers to athletes to celebrities. Plus, it is easy for anyone to make an IGTV channel and share their videos with their followers.
- Instagram hopes IGTV will motivate people to create unique content.
For now, Instagram says it will not pay for content or run any ads. Eventually, the company would like to make it easier for people who post popular videos to get paid. According to Bloomberg, Systrom said the company would also like to “make it possible for anyone to become famous from Instagram TV, not just the people who already have large audiences.”
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