Instagram takes on YouTube with IGTV

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The new hub, called IGTV, is both a stand-alone app and a section of the primary Instagram app that will allow users to post high-definition videos.

"It truly wouldnt have happened without all of you", CEO Kevin Systrom said of hitting the one-billion-user-mark.

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

The site reports that while videos of up to one hour will be allowed, the company is encouraging a target of ten minutes, with celebrities and other established content creators leading the way.

IGTV will begin rolling out globally in the coming weeks for iOS and Android.

Instagram just effectively declared war on YouTube and Snapchat. As was rumored, videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long. Anyone can upload videos, either from the dedicated app or from Instagram itself. Instagram hasn't talked about the possibility of turning off video autoplay when launching the service, but it's likely that it will be a requested feature. Anyone can post their own videos to IGTV via the app or the web and create their own "channel".

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As soon as you open IGTV, video will start playing in full-screen portrait mode-no need to click anything.

In his remarks, Systrom positioned IGTV as the latest step in the company's "evolution" and suggested that horizontal video is inconvenient in an era when media consumption is increasingly happening on smartphones. You can download Instagram from the App Store for free. With that said, I also enjoy watching content on Twitch. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their channel will show up for you to watch.

If you are a fan of watching vertical video, then Instagram has just announced a new way to consume plenty of it. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. It's not the first time Instagram has copied Snapchat.

More importantly, 72 percent of US kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second to YouTube at 85 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Total spending on online video ads in the expected to rise from almost $18 billion this year to $27 billion in 2021, according to eMarketer.

Unlike traditional television, IGTV channels are designated by creators, however, anyone can have their own channel. "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.