Instagram has just hit one of its most crucial milestone – one billion users. The news came on the heels of the company’s launch of IGTV or Instagram Television, a long-form video format that takes aim at rival YouTube.
It seemed inevitable that Instagram would hit the 1 billion monthly users mark. But what probably surprised people was how quickly the company achieved this. After all, it was just in September of last year that the photo-sharing app reached 800 million users.
Instagram now joins WhatsApp and Messenger in the 1 billion club. The two Facebook-owned apps have 1.5 billion and 1.3 billion monthly users respectively. And despite recent controversies, Facebook is still holding strong with 2.2 billion users.
IGTV Goes Up Against YouTube
Instagram announced its latest achievement at its San Francisco event launching IGTV, the company’s latest app for long-form video. While IGTV is designed as a standalone app, it will also be found as a tab in Instagram
Instagram videos are usually limited to 60 seconds but with IGTV, videos can run as long as 10 minutes. Meanwhile, creators with a huge following can post videos that are up to an hour long. At the moment, IGTV videos will have to be pre-recorded, although live videos might be something Instagram will offer in the future.
IGTV videos will show up as thumbnails at the lower half of the creator’s page. Tapping on a thumbnail will cause the video to go full screen. Each video will show the same icons that users also see on Instagram – a heart, share tool, and the comment bubble.
It would appear that IGTV is going up against YouTube in terms of content creation and consumption. However, IGTV still has a long way to go before it can match YouTube’s number of monthly logged-in users and content creators.
Zuckerberg’s Big Instagram Win
Instagram’s latest milestone can be considered a big win for the embattled Mark Zuckerberg. The rollout of IGTV had Facebook’s stock rising by 2.3%, making Zuckerberg richer by $1.7 billion. The boost could be due to the fact that the new feature can provide Facebook with a new avenue to run advertisements. Even though Instagram isn’t selling ads on IGTV yet, there’s a big possibility it will in the near future.
Facebook has faced its fair share of controversies recently, with the latest one being the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Despite that, the company still enjoys robust ad sales and continues to grow its user base.