Social media platform Instagram is launching a new video component to its service, but it will be geared towards its own expanding stable of content creators.
IGTV is described by the Facebook-owned company as “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.” Users will also be able to access IGTV through the Instagram app.
Announcing the development, which he called “our most exciting feature to date,” Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom said that with the new app, videos can be as long as an hour, and its channels will be comprised of content from Instagram creators.
“When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch,” he said. “Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.”
Web celebs on hand for a June 20 event to announce the app and their upcoming contributions included Lele Pons (pictured), who announced during the event and via Twitter that she would be creating a cooking show for IGTV. According to Systrom, at present, there are no revenue share arrangements in place with content creators.
A posting on the company’s business blog cited a 2016 study from BCG, “The Future of Television”, to assert that “younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.” That same post also cited a 2017 White Paper from Cisco Visual Networking, which claims that by 2021, “mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.”
The creator-led model for IGTV could leave professional producers to continue trying their luck with Instagram’s parent company Facebook via the Facebook Watch service. Still, at least one cable network has announced plans for utilizing the new product to share content. National Geographic has announced that once IGTV goes live, it will share a vertically-adapted version of the final episode of its One Strange Rock miniseries from within the Instagram app, for free.
According to its Instagram account, Nat Geo has 88.7 million followers on the platform. The company says working with IGTV will allow it to expose a huge audience to its long-form content, while also generating new business and sponsorship opportunities across its most profitable social channel.
Instagram also announced today that the platform now has a global reach of one billion users.