Instagram just declared war on YouTube with a new longform-video app

Sheri Evans
June 24, 2018

The move to bring more professionally-created video to Instagram's 1 billion users comes as Facebook is also doubling down on Watch, its very own YouTube competitor within the core Facebook app.

Instagram is taking on TV and YouTube with a new property called IGTV, where videos can run up to an hour long.

Mobile-first: IGTV is built for how you naturally use and hold your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Since some content could be running for an hour, Instagram also included a "Continue Watching" page so users can pick up from where they left off in a recently viewed video.

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

"The way we are watching video is changing", Instagram chief Kevin Systrom told the event in San Francisco on Wednesday where IGTV was announced.

"Younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals", Instagram said in a blog post. With the launch of IGTV, the company essentially wants to make its platform the go-to for entertainment - Instagram already has a huge amount of content for users, ranging from Stories, Live videos, to the classic photos and videos.

Vertical video is the only supported format for IGTV. The IGTV app will play content immediately upon opening it and there will be separate sections for the people you follow as well as what's popular at the moment.

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Once you open the IGTV app, content from individuals that you follow will automatically begin playing.

IGTV aims for users to watch it just like TV. IGTV videos are full screen and vertical.

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 Facebook-owned video service also announced that it will give users the ability to upload videos of up to ten minutes in length.

Instagram Co-Founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom said that the social network has grown to accommodate one billion users since its inception in 2010.

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.

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