Instagram expands into long videos, will compete with YouTube

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Instagram released this video to promote IGTV

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Instagram released this video to promote IGTV

Social network Instagram is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube.

Well, we've got good news for you; Instagram has unveiled IGTV, a new video app with longer content exclusively in the beloved vertical format. Instagram says IGTV is the future of video, but it's not clear why the company is making users install a separate app - there is also little to no room to avoid installing IGTV, it will be deeply integrated within the main Instagram app, and notify you when content creators you follow publish a new video on IGTV.

As for who can create content for IGTV, Instagram notes that "anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web".

It will give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

Through a blog post announcing the new service, Instagram pointed out that this is indeed longer vertical video.

"Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, we are excited to introduce IGTV which brings audiences closer to the creators they love".

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These longer videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long, in case you were wondering just how long these long-form videos might be.

No plans are now in the works to produce original Instagram content for IGTV.

Besides giving Instagram another potential drawing card, longer clips are more conducive for video ads lasting from 30 seconds to one minute.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion six years ago, now has 1 billion users, up from 800 million nine months ago.

Since then it has become a strong enginer of growth for Facebook in terms of users and ad revenues.

It means Instagram joins a prestigious club of apps and services that have one billion users, that includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Chrome, and YouTube. According to Instagram, "IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen".

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