Instagram brings long-form video to 1 billion users

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It becomes the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger.

Mr Systrom also announced a new feature enabling some users to share long-form videos up to one-hour long. When you follow people on Instagram and they make IGTV content, it'll show up as a channel that you can consume through both Instagram and IGTV apps.

IGTV creators will also be able to post their content to Facebook Watch, which could help them reach more people and of course, help Facebook's efforts with the feature.

When users open the app, IGTV starts playing immediately.

The Instagram TV app is not just for stars like Pons with 25 million followers, either.

Just like the Insta-stories we know so well, long-form videos will play full-screen and vertical.

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.

Instagram is ready to take on YouTube with a new app. 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.

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What do you think, will you be watching IGTV?

Notably, the IGTV app allows watching videos without any commercial breaks, at least, for now. With IGTV, videos can be a max of 60-minutes-long.

What makes this app different than Youtube is the native support for vertical videos as opposed to landscape video.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing service described IGTV as Instagram's "most exciting feature to date" and the beginning of "a new chapter of video on Instagram". Instagram says it's not immediately paying for any content on the app, nor will it start with any advertising.

According to Systrom, Instagram will not be monetizing IGTV with ads in the immediate future, although that could potentially change down the line.

IGTV will have "channels" that belong to creators, including some social media celebrities like Lele Pons, who gave a preview of her IGTV cooking show at the event. IGTV videos are full screen and vertical. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love.

This will come as good news to those who felt stymied by the small files Instagram was allowing to be shared on their service previously.