Last week TechCrunch reported Instagram will launch a long-form video hub to compete with Snapchat Discover and YouTube, with a tentative launch date of June 20th. Now Instagram is asking reporters to RSVP for a June 20th “special event”, confirming our scoop’s date. The invitation simply reads “Instagram has some news to share, and we want you to be the first to hear about it.”
Here are the details of long-form video hub that we’ve heard from our sources:
- Format: Instagram will let creators upload 4K, full-screen, vertically oriented videos ranging much longer than the current 60 second limit on videos.
- Destination: The videos will be available from a centralized hub featuring curating sections of popular videos and an option to continue watching clips you’ve already started, though it’s unclear where in its app or a separate Instagram will host this destination
- Launch Partners: Instagram has been meeting with social media stars and content houses to establish launch partners for the June 20th reveal
- Mid-Level Quality: The content is meant to approximate the clips you see on YouTube from star creators, shot with forethought and nice cameras, but most of it won’t be at the Netflix Originals or HBO-quality.
- Link-Outs: Instagram will let creators add a link that can visited by swiping up on the video so they can drive traffic to their other social presences, ecommerce stores, or websites.
- Monetization: Instagram plans to let creators earn money off their long videos, though it hasn’t finalized how yet. That couldtake the form of pre-roll ads or mid-break commercials, with creators potentially earning a revenue share.
It’s also quite possible that Instagram will announce that it’s hit 1 billion users, which would be a great way to draw content creators. Instagram hit 600 million in December 2016, 700 million in April 2017, and 800 million in September 2017. If it’s adding 100 million users every four months or so, that means it should have reached 1 billion by the June 20th event.