To compete with YouTube, Instagram introduces hour-long videos

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In a blog post - which starts off by announcing the one billion user milestone - Instagram announced IGTV, a new mobile-oriented video service which will allow users to record videos up to one hour long. In a kind of TV and YouTube hybrid, the app will be organized by channels, which will just lead you to each creator's page.

The IGTV app will be available on both Android and iOS, and you can head over to Google Play and install it now.

Called IGTV, the app is created to let you watch long-form, vertical video.

Simple to use: It starts playing as soon as you open the app, so you don't have to search to get started.

The photo-sharing app also announced it would be launching a stand-alone app called IGTV to host these long-form videos. When you follow a creator on IGTV, you'll also follow their account on Instagram. Eventually, the app will let all users posts videos of unlimited length.

According to The Verge "Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said the app was created to make it easier to find and watch videos on the mobile phone". Each video can be up to an hour long.

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Instagram said it has signed up internet stars for IGTV, including Lele Pons, who has 25 million followers. IGTV has four subheadings that allow you to customize your viewing. As on YouTube, regular IGTV users may set up their own channel.

Instagram just unveiled a new way to help it compete with the likes of YouTube and Snapchat. With IGTV, videos can be a max of 60-minutes-long.

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

The UI is very streamlined and there's not much you can do aside from browsing videos. "Right now, we are focused on building engagement", Systrom said during a press Q&A following the announcement. Beyond "Explore", IGTV will also include "For You", "Following", "Popular" and "Continue Watching" tabs, each of which speak for themselves. For more on Instagram's new venture, follow here.

Anyone will be able to upload videos for Instagram's new IGTV section, which will display them full-screen and vertically, the way people naturally hold their phones.

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