After rumors which just would not die Instagram has today taken the wraps off of IGTV, a standalone app for smartphones which is aimed at providing a home for long-form, vertical videos.
Systrom said IGTV would be available on Wednesday for Android and iOS and through an update in the Instagram app.
It will give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising. When you open the app it automatically starts playing videos from people you follow.
Instagram's YouTube competitor is finally here.
The network has also proven to be one of the best social media networks for video engagement, according to research firm eMarketer, setting up the potential for IGTV to be a moneymaker for Facebook.
Another unique feature of this app: it has been formatted so that all videos play vertically. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. Anyone can post their own videos to IGTV via the app or the web and create their own "channel".
The photo-sharing app, which is owned by Facebook, last revealed the number of users on its platform in September, when there were 800 million people using the app. This is a major accomplishment - so from all of us at Instagram, thank you!
"The way we are watching video is changing", Systrom told the event. Once you post a video, you can also post it to Facebook simultaneously. If you're not into that video, swipe to check out other creators' channels.
With IGTV, Instagram now has another way to bring in revenue through ads.
Like YouTube, IGTV will focus its spotlight on its brightest stars allowing you to uncover new channels and personas that appeal to your specific interests. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat's popular "stories" feature.
A whole platform built around vertical video and access to the most annoying of Instagram's Stars?
How much time users spend using an app is an important competitive metric for social media platforms.