Instagram takes on YouTube with new IGTV app

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Instagram TV
Say hello to Instagram's YouTube clone.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram is ready to take on YouTube with a new app.

The photo-sharing social network revealed its new standalone app today called IGTV that’s dedicated to long-form video.

IGTV was revealed at an event today this morning where the company also shared that it now has 1 billion monthly active users. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said IGTV is designed to make it easier to find and watch videos on your smartphone, and the company added a few tricks YouTube doesn’t have.

Vertical video is the only supported format for IGTV. When you open the app it automatically starts playing videos from people you follow. The aim is to make it so you don’t have to search for content. Like cable TV, you just turn it on and mindlessly consume all the content.

Instagram TV vs YouTube

IGTV
IGTV makes finding content easy.
Photo: Instagram

With IGTV, Instagram now has another way to bring in revenue through ads. The company is also obviously trying to strike a blow at YouTube, which has dominated mobile video for over a decade. IGTV could also spell more trouble for Snapchat which has been trying to make vertical video the most popular format among Millennials and teens.

Creators will be able to upload videos directly to Instagram from IGTV too. Videos will only be 10 minutes long to start, but accounts with larger followings will be able to post hourlong videos. Eventually, the app will let all users posts videos of unlimited length.

IGTV will launch on both iOS and Android over the next few weeks.