Instagram just declared war on YouTube with a new longform-video app

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

Instagram takes on Snapchat and YouTube with IGTV

Today it officially announced IGTV, a new home for up to hour-long videos that will live on Instagram's explore page and in a separate, standalone app.

IGTV will enable any user to upload long-form videos and will also include "channels" from video "creators", similar to a format employed by Google-owned YouTube which has given rise to a number of YouTube "stars". Commenting on this, CEO Kevin Systrom said that "Instagram is now a global community of one billion!"

Today, Instagram announced that it has one billion active monthly users.

IGTV is rolling out globally to Android and iOS over the next few weeks. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren't limited to one minute. The IGTV app starts playing as soon as you open the application. Actually, IGTV is launching without any ads at all, and Instagram isn't making direct payments to stars, either.

Instagram's announcement took place in central San Francisco, in a cavernous space above a Honda dealership near the gentrifying Market Street corridor.

'Since then video has exploded, we've continued to build video experiences, and in 2016 we launched stories, which brings us to IGTV'. Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion, has grown by adding features like messaging and short videos. Anyone can post their own videos to IGTV via the app or the web and create their own "channel".

The IGTV app will give users the ability to follow their favorite creators and use machine learning to predict which videos they'll want to watch next.

Called IGTV in a nod to traditional television, the service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers. This is a major accomplishment - so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! "What we have always done really well is remain a neutral platform that connects people to their audience and their friends", Systrom said. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. In a kind of TV and YouTube hybrid, the app will be organized by channels, which will just lead you to each creator's page. From there you can swipe up to discover more in one of the four categories offered: For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching. It's not the first time Instagram has copied Snapchat.

Curated: IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram. But Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said he expects the company eventually will introduce ads and potentially provide a share of that revenue to creators who post on the site. According to market-research firm eMarketer, video makes up 17% of all U.S. digital ad spending, and an increasing number of people are watching video on their phones.

The differentiating factor between them is that everyone will be given access to vertical videos, not just the social media's elite.

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