Instagram, now with over a billion users, takes on 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

Instagram announces the launch of IGTV, its new app for watching and creating long-form videos.

Videos start playing as soon as the app is opened based on the people you already follow on Instagram. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

Systrom said IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone, and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute. The company is calling the app as "a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators." . Instagram is also now not paying any Instagram users to create content for IGTV.

Instagram's latest idea allows videos to be viewed vertically in full-screen mode.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom made the announcement during an event in San Francisco today, exactly five years after the company first added video to its platform.

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Unlike traditional television, IGTV channels are designated by creators, however, anyone can have their own channel. IGTV has four subheadings that allow you to customize your viewing. Users can follow different channels, and they swipe up to switch between the channels they follow as well as "for you" suggestions and "continue watching". What are your thoughts on the new video-sharing app, IGTV?

Video-makers on IGTV will be able to choose to also post their content on Facebook Watch, which could help Facebook's efforts in that section.

"We launched IGTV (a button inside the Instagram home screen, as well as a standalone app) at an event featuring numerous Instagram creators who'll make it great", the company wrote in a blog post late on Wednesday.

The Facebook -owned photo-sharing app has previously dealt in still images and videos of up to 60 seconds. Because of that, Systrom wanted IGTV to be Instagram's answer to that paradigm shift so as to be able to meet their growing consumption needs. Facebook is paying for rights to shows now, but the company aims for the content to eventually be popular enough to be supported exclusively by advertising revenue.

With IGTV, Instagram moves closer to taking on Google's YouTube and Snapchat. Also notable is the fact that everyone can be a creator - anyone can simply upload their own IGTV videos in the app or on the web. Cool. But if it's not your thing, you ...

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