Instagram has made not one, but two announcements for its app. The first one is a milestone of reaching 1 billion users worldwide. The app was first launched in October 2010, which means it took less than eight years for the app to reach this milestone. What's surprising is that it's parent company Facebook more than eight years to reach that mark.
Apart from this, the app also announced a new standalone app, IGTV. The app will allow content creators to upload up to one hour of vertically formatted clips. Currently, the Instagram app only allows users to upload videos only up to 60 seconds, and 15 seconds on Stories. The new app will be available in the coming weeks for both iOS and Android.
Instagram also said that the IGTV app will include features like being able to see content from people the users already follow. Users can also switch between "For You," "Following," "Popular" and "Continue Watching" categories. Each Instagram creator will have an IGTV channel with all of their longer video clips.
The new app will also allow users to like, comment and send them to friends in Direct. Additionally, all of the longer videos in the IGTV app can also be viewed on Instagram as well.
This new move from the company shows that Facebook wants to be up against the likes of Google's YouTube service. Providing 1 billion users with longer videos can result in a good competition for other streaming services. The company will likely leverage this new format for advertisers as well.
The only question here is whether the users will embrace the vertical video format or stick to the horizontal format seen on YouTube. We will get the answers once the app goes live.
Besides, Instagram will no longer notify users when someone takes a screenshot of their Stories. Instagram first started testing the feature back in February. The feature was obviously not met with joy. "We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you," Instagram said when it first started testing screenshot notifications.