Instagram launches hour-long videos as it celebrates one billion users

Instagram’s “IGTV” video hub for creators launches tomorrow		
		
	Josh Constine

       @	   
   	7 hours

Chief executive Kevin Systrom said onstage on Wednesday that Instagram now has one billion active monthly users, up from 800 million in September. Today, Instagram announces it has achieved 1 billion users! IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. Eventually, the app will let all users posts videos of unlimited length. Speaking about the feature, Systrom said: "We made it a dedicated app so you can tap on it and enjoy the video without all the distraction". At an Instagram event, social media sensation Lele Pons revealed that she too will bring her talents (and some of her favorite recipes) to IGTV.

Instagram's announcement took place in central San Francisco, in a cavernous space above a Honda dealership near the gentrifying Market Street corridor.

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TechCrunch has learned that the Instagram longer-form video hub that's launching [today] is called IGTV and it will be part of the Explore tab, according to multiple sources. Anyone can post their own videos to IGTV via the app or the web and create their own "channel". This means that you will not have to search for a video to get started. The move to launch a standalone app, he said, is a recognition that many Instagram users like to breeze through their feeds and don't want to pause to watch a 10-minute video in that space. With that said, I also enjoy watching content on Twitch.

If you are a fan of watching vertical video, then Instagram has just announced a new way to consume plenty of it. Instead of watching NBC or HBO, you'll be watching a friend or an Instagram star. If you're not into that video, swipe to check out other creators' channels. Before, Facebook and Instagram have copied Snapchat - another magnet for teens and young adults. That feature has been incredibly popular on Instagram, drawing more users than all of Snapchat.

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Still, this new platform won't quite have the flexibility of YouTube - for example, while one hour would be more than sufficient for most content creators, it's not exactly YouTube's generous maximum time of 12 hours.

Begun, the online video wars have.

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A whole platform built around vertical video and access to the most annoying of Instagram's Stars? When you follow a creator on Instagram, their channel will show up for you to watch.

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