Instagram's new long-form video hub, IGTV, expected to launch today

Instagram's new long-form video hub, IGTV, expected to launch today

"We are re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand", Instagram explained in a blog post. When you follow people on Instagram and they make IGTV content, it'll show up as a channel that you can consume through both Instagram and IGTV apps. Content creators can upload videos to IGTV from the app, or from the web. From within the video, you have the ability to interact by tapping the like button, commenting, or sending messages via Direct.

The announcement was made at an event hosted by Instagram chief Kevin Systrom in San Francisco. Instagram's pitch here is that watching video content on mobile devices is clunky (*cough* YouTube *cough*) and a platform dedicated to long-form, vertical videos will make things a lot more intuitive. "It's mobil first, it's simple".

It will begin as part of Instagram's app and also be available as a separate app, Systrom said.

IGTV will soon be integrated into Instagram, with new IGTV bubbles appearing on the profiles of people you follow. According to Instagram, "IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen".

Instagram becomes the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the WhatsApp and Messenger services. The video will eventually give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

More importantly, 72 per cent of USA kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second to YouTube at 85 per cent, according to the Pew Research Center.