Instagram takes on YouTube with IGTV

Instagram's new long-form video hub, IGTV, expected to launch today

Instagram unveils new IGTV app for long-form vertical video, now has 1 billion users

Facebook's Instagram service is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube when they're looking for something to watch on their smartphones.

Facebook-owned Instagram said on Wednesday it was adding a section dedicated to long-form video, expanding beyond its photo-sharing app roots in a competition among streaming services for consumers' time.

As for who can create content for IGTV, Instagram notes that "anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web". All users will initially be able to record video up to 10 minutes, while select accounts with larger followings will be able to record video up to 60 minutes.

Instagram's IGTV is ultimately going to be a direct competitor to YouTube, but the company is also targeting Snapchat's Discover.

These longer videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long, in case you were wondering just how long these long-form videos might be.

Instagram and Snapchat have been waging war with one another for years, but Instagram is branching out to attack new platforms this week.

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Instagram has now hit the same milestone as other Facebook-owned social aps - including Messenger (1.3bn), WhatsApp (1.5bn) and Facebook itself which has 2.2 billion users.

Mobile first: IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen.

Like YouTube, Instagram also has a large community of influential users with big followings.

IGTV is the most recent addition to Instagram's video offerings, following the introduction of Instagram Stories and live video.

IGTV will not launch with advertising or make payments to creators, but monetization strategy will be explored in the future, Systrom said.

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