Instagram Announces IGTV, Challenging YouTube and Snapchat

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 announced on Wednesday it had reached 1 billion active users for the first time ever. And Instagram also plans to pull in celebrities to post their videos on the app, mainly to rapidly popularise the new platform.

If you'd like to discover content from other creators, you can open the IGTV app, and if you're already watching a video, you can swipe up to start browsing - toggle between "For You", "Following", "Popular", and "Continue Watching".

First, being designed and meant for consumption on mobile devices means that videos on IGTV will be vertical and take up the entire screen, letting users hold the phone as they usually do while using it. Instagram already supports hour-long live streams, but videos you post to your profile can only be up to one minute long and story clips are capped at just 15 seconds. Along with that, Instagram's also creating an entirely separate IGTV app that'll start playing videos as soon as you open it.

The photo-sharing app also announced it would be launching a stand-alone app called IGTV to host these long-form videos. Similar to all the other content on the platform, it selects content it believes you'll enjoy watching through For You.

The new feature is going to be available immediately globally so you should see it on your app at some stage today.

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The announcement was made at an event hosted by Instagram chief Kevin Systrom in San Francisco.

You can download IGTV via the Play Store and App Store. The company's next step is to break into videos full-time with its very own standalone app, IGTV. Following a creator on Instagram gives you access to their channel. Any user can upload videos. "IGTV is for watching long-from videos from your favorite creators".

Mr Systrom said: "The way we are watching video is changing".

Systrom positioned IGTV as Instagram's answer to shifting entertainment consumption habits. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram.

One can only imagine how much Instagram would be worth today, but considering that Snapchat's parent company, Snap, is valued at more than $16 billion with a fraction of Instagram's users, it seems fair to say that Instagram's acquisition price was a billion well spent.

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