"Right now, we're focused on building engagement", said Systrom, adding that Instagram always likes to start simple, ads are a logical place to go, and the company would cut creators in on any money it makes.
The launch party, in true tech industry fashion, featured coloured lights, loud music and photoworthy scenes set in the alcoves of a former Honda dealership - located steps away from a homeless encampment in the heart of San Francisco. In addition to uploading and viewing these videos on mobile, you can do so on the web too.
Tech giants including Google, Amazon.com and Apple have all invested in different video efforts.
IGTV will be available both on the main Instagram app (which, according to a blog post from the company, now reaches more than a billion accounts) and on an app of its own.
It has been largely insulated from controversies, such as Facebook's data privacy woes or YouTube's problems with curation. With that said, I also enjoy watching content on Twitch. Instagram's feed also has posts from advertisers. Commenting on this, CEO Kevin Systrom said that "Instagram is now a global community of one billion!"
[Photo: courtesy of Instagram] Instagram stars such as Lele Pons, who has 25 million followers and appeared onstage at today's event, will presumably like the opportunity to share longer-form content with their fans.
"We want to make sure they make a living because that is the only way it works in the long run", Systrom said.More news: Duchess of Sussex joins Queen Elizabeth for first solo trip
Instagram has spent the week meeting with online content creators to encourage them to prepare videos closer to 10-minute YouTube vlogs than the 1-minute maximum videos the app allows today.
Videos will be full-screen, vertically orientated, and can have a resolution up to 4K.
Instagram has now hit the same milestone as other Facebook-owned social aps - including Messenger (1.3bn), WhatsApp (1.5bn) and Facebook itself which has 2.2 billion users.
IGTV will allow users to upload clips that can range from 15 seconds to 60 minutes in length, up from its previous 60 second limit. Similarly to TVs, as soon as you open IGTV, you'll be presented with a video.
Instagram may have an easier time.
In a world which is increasingly mobile, it may be a smart move by Instagram to cater to the unique characteristics of mobile devices in order to take on a behemoth such as YouTube, though it remains to be seen if the strategy pays off.
That doesn't seem to be in the cards for IGTV.