Instagram has launched its Instagram TV app (IGTV) to mark the social platform reaching one billion users.

Announced today (June 20) at Instagram Live in San Fransisco, the rumoured long-form video service is set to compete with YouTube and will allow users to upload video content up to one hour – up from the social app’s previous limit of one minute.

IGTV will be a standalone app but can be accessed via the TV button inside the Instagram home screen.

“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom.

“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.”

IGTV will be available for most Instagram users and is expected to roll out to smaller and new accounts in the coming weeks.

How it works

Content creators can upload hour-long videos immediately via the app or online. Viewers can then swipe through categories such as recommended videos and popular videos based on the influencers they follow.

Users will also receive notifications from the IGTV app button, alerting them when new content is uploaded.

Creators can also develop Instagram Channels full of their different videos that people can subscribe to via the app.

In addition, they can put links in the description of their video to drive traffic.

No commercial opportunities yet!

In regards to commercial opportunities, Systrom said he wants to make the Instagram offering sustainable in time but for the now there are no ads.

In addition, Instagram has stated that they will not be paying content creators directly for posting videos via IGTV – leaving the question on whether influencers using the platform can monetise their content and the possibility of creating campaigns or branded content via the platform.

“Specifically, when making plans to monetise this offering, the company will need to truly understand what its users are thinking and how they are acting on a daily basis,” said Ginny Follen, marketing director at customer experience platform Optimizely.

“Getting this right will be pivotal to the company’s future success. Time will tell whether the decision has been based on a hunch or an in-depth evidence-based approach, but one thing is for sure – users won’t waste time in letting the world know what they think of the changes.”

What are thoughts on IGTV and how this could impact influencer marketing? Leave a comment below or tweet us at @talkinfluence.

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