Instagram celebrates 1 billion users by announcing IGTV video platform

Instagram, which just hit 1 billion users, announced a new video format is coming to the platform and its creators are calling it the "most exciting feature to date". Systrom said Wednesday that Instagram now has 1 billion monthly users, and the Pew Research Center recently reported that 72% of U.S. teenagers say they use Instagram. The word "YouTube" never passed his lips, but there's no doubt that Instagram is gunning for it with its new, long-rumored video service, IGTV. First, despite the fact Instagram is launching a dedicated app for videos, anyone who doesn't want to download it can still watch them from the main Instagram app - promo pics suggest a button at the top of the app will allow them to access IGTV content.

IGTV will be available as part of Instagram's app and as a separate app, he said. You can still like, share and comment on videos, just like on YouTube, but it keeps a slightly different concept with the vertical video thing and the hour-long limit.

That is what's already happening on YouTube, which has become the world's most popular video outlet since Google bought it for $1.76 billion almost 12 years ago. Some content is viewable on the Instagram app, but only for selected content creators. If you're not into that video, swipe to check out other creators' channels. That explains the emphasis on online influencers, but celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Selena Gomez, Lele Pons and Kevin Hart have already begun to post videos on IGTV. Instagram says it's not immediately paying for any content on the app, nor will it start with any advertising.

Citing 2017 data from Emarketer, Instagram noted that "these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video".

The Facebook-owned company announced IGTV during an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, also sharing the news that the social media site has reached 1 billion users. Instagram users with a large following (Instagram did not specify a number, but likely in the tens of thousands) will be able to post videos up to one hour in length.

IGTV is not for shooting live video from within the Instagram app: you can only post pre-shot video from your phone, and only vertical video.

Tech firms such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) YouTube and Snap Inc's (SNAP.N) Snapchat have been spending heavily to grow mobile video services that will attract both users and corporate brand advertising.

"With IGTV, like YouTube, anyone can be a creator", Lowcock said. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day.

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