To compete with YouTube, Instagram introduces hour-long videos

Instagram unveils new IGTV app for long-form vertical video, now has 1 billion users

Instagram also announced it was launching a hub for creators to upload long-form videos and make money from ads.

IGTV is based around channels, with Instagram users able to follow creators to see their IGTV channel content.

According to The Verge "Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said the app was created to make it easier to find and watch videos on the mobile phone". Videos will begin playing as soon as the user opens the app and will fill be full-screen vertically - contrasting with YouTube, which requires users to turn their phones horizontally for full-screen capabilities.

Similar to the Live video streaming, the new feature allows you to like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Much like TV, IGTV has channels where the creators are the channels. The app is available on Android as well as iOS.

Instagram wants the new feature to reach as many social media users as possible for obvious reasons.

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With IGTV, Instagram now has another way to bring in revenue through ads. Younger audiences are apparently spending more time watching amateur content creators in place of professionals. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.

One big differentiator between IGTV and YouTube: The former uses full-screen vertical video. There are also channels, and celebrities themselves can be channels. The company has also managed to get a lot of popular influencers to start their own channels on IGTV, including Kim Kardashian, Ninja (the Fortnite streamer), Selena Gomez, Kevin Hart, Chris Hemsworth, Lele Pons, and others. Additionally, it will also privilege vertical video, making it better suited for viewing - and creating - using a smartphone. That makes the platform more suited to mobile use than YouTube.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says that the company has no immediate plans to pay creators with large followings yet, but hopes in the future that the idea of advertising and paying users will become a reality.

"We've come a really long way in just eight years, and it's thanks to this incredible community. that we've been able to launch IGTV", Systrom said.

The number highlights the surging growth of the Facebook-owned social network which allows users to share photos and video.

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