Instagram has said it now has more than one billion active users, less than a year after it reported reaching the 800 million mark. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. The app's rate of growth is close to 5% per quarter, dwarfing a competitor like Snapchat and its own corporate parent, Facebook.
Will Instagram become the new YouTube?
From our CEO @kevin: "Today, we have two big announcements to share".
Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for a combination of cash and stock worth some $1 billion at the time.
"Since our launch in 2010, we've watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown", Systrom said in a blog post. For now, if you want to check the app out, you can download it via the app widget below or from APK Mirror. The company also announced a new app called IGTV, designed for longer videos and populated with famous Instagram content creators.
IGTV is essentially a video platform, similar to YouTube, where each creator has their own channel which users can choose to follow to stay updated on.
IGTV is focused on vertical videos-videos taller than they are wide-meant to be consumed by users who are holding their phones upright.
That trend appears to be one of the reasons that Facebook is "hedging its bets" by opening Instagram to the longer-form videos typically found on YouTube, said analyst Paul Verna of the research firm eMarketer. "What we watch is changing too". Like cable TV, you just turn it on and mindlessly consume all the content.
From there, users can swipe up in the app to find more content and can select from a series of tabs, including "For You, ' 'Following, ' 'Popular" and 'Continue Watching'.
But if you're reading this and dreaming of quitting your day job to make videos for Instagram checks, you better drum up a huge following fast.
IGTV also has channels, just like a TV, but the channels are the creators themselves. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you open the app it automatically starts playing videos from people you follow.
YouTube is a great video platform - I have no complaints, really. And they will be displayed vertically on the full screen.
Creators can link to their Instagram profiles, outside websites or online stores in clips uploaded to IGTV.
Business-wise, the move makes flawless sense. Though IGTV will not have ads at launch, Systrom said it's a likely place for them to "end up", both for the company's and creators' bottom lines. Systrom said Wednesday that Instagram now has 1 billion monthly users, and the Pew Research Center recently reported that 72% of U.S. teenagers say they use Instagram. Eventually, the app will let all users posts videos of unlimited length.