Instagram tops 1 billion users, launches IGTV to take on YouTube and co.


Image-posting and aspirational-lifestyle-promotion-service Instagram has crossed the 1 billion users mark, according to an announcement by the company this week. Insta’s also taken the opportunity to launch a new service called IGTV. You get one guess what that does.

On the user front, Instagram had 800 million monthly active users calling the service home back in September 2017. They’ve piled another 200 million users into the service since then, crossing that magical billion-user threshold — which must have seemed like the perfect opportunity to branch the service out a little with the launch of IGTV.

IGTV will appear as a new app which will see users accessing longer video than has been available previously. Most users will see their video length limits climb from one minute to ten minutes, which is about the length of a decent YouTube video. But if you’re popular enough on the service you’ll be able to post hour-long videos for your audience. If you’re not keen on adding another app to your list of must-checks then you’ll also be able to get your fresh video fix through standard Instagram.


The IGTV app will play video immediately on opening, which would be annoying for just about any other app but since that’s kinda the point here, getting angry would be silly. Videos will be selected from the people you follow in the main Instagram app, meaning you won’t have to go hunting for something new to watch. It does, however, mean that if your Insta-friends videos tend to be rubbish you might need to find some new ones.

It remains to be seen whether Instagram’s deeper push into video will make YouTube, or even parent-company Facebook’s own efforts, nervous. Since IGTV will consist of vertical video, we’re going to go with… nope. If you want to see more about how IGTV works, you can watch a video explaining it on Instagram over here.

Instagram had just 40 million users when it was picked up by Facebook back in 2012 for the almost quaint-seeming sum of $1 billion (which was a huge deal at the time). It’s the latest Facebook-owned service to cross the billion user mark, letting it stand proudly alongside Messenger, WhatsApp, and the all-time champ, Facebook itself.


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