Instagram announces IGTV, a hub for long-format videos

IGTV will let all users be a creator and let them upload vertical videos through Instagram's app or the web.

Up until now, video uploads were limited to just one minute on Instagram, but IGTV extends that limit to an hour. Unlike the Instagram app, videos made with IGTV can last up to an hour.

SAN FRANCISCO: Instagram said Wednesday it now has more than one billion active users, as it unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract "creators" like those on YouTube.

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"The magical part about IGTV is that a lot of these creators don't have to start from scratch", says Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO, at a press event following the release of the app.

IGTV will automatically begin playing vertical videos from people that the user follows as soon as one log in. As with any social platform, videos can be liked, shared, and commented.

IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS. Smaller accounts will only be given 10-minute video limits, but Instagram did not specify the exact criteria for what qualifies an account for the longer video option. Yesterday, a Facebook executive told Recode it would start running autoplay video ads in Messenger, another property launched as a kind of spinoff-app, this week. Instagram's IGTV will rival YouTube and also Snapchat's Discover.

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The launch comes amid a shift in video viewing habits away from traditional television to online platforms including Netflix and Hulu, and with more people watching both professional and user content on services like YouTube.

Long-form vertical video! Here we are. "With Stories we're sharing so much of our life events, it would be great to share that on IGTV".

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