10 minute Instagram videos are here

Instagram announces vertical video-centric IGTV app, main app passes one billion users

Instagram unveils new video service in challenge to YouTube

Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators.

The company has officially launched IGTV, a new way for Instagram users to create YouTube-like channels that host longer videos within Instagram. IGTV is different in a few ways. Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement on the Instagram blog: "We've made it simple, too. IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram". The IGTV app starts playing as soon as you open the application.

Now more United States creators can simply turn commercials in the middle of the video, beginning with those who work with original content and with longer duration, and they will simply get 55% of the ad revenue.

Many a company has tried and failed to compete with YouTube, but Instagram has some things going for it, including a billion users-a new milestone that Systrom announced at the event-and plenty of creators already making a living on the service through monetization strategies such as sponsorships.

As Facebook itself has moved deeper into video, Instagram will become a direct competitor to YouTube with IGTV. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With this news, all four of Facebook's key services-the main Facebook app, its two chat apps Messenger and WhatsApp, and Instagram-each have a billion or more users.

"The way we are watching video is changing", Systrom told the event.

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The standalone IGTV app will be rolling out to iOS and Android globally over the coming weeks. But Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said he expects the company eventually will introduce ads and potentially provide a share of that revenue to creators who post on the site. The IGTV app is easy to use and very basic.

Here's the IGTV video example we came up with around the Yahoo Finance newsroom on Wednesday.

Instagram's latest idea allows videos to be viewed vertically in full-screen mode.

Instagram previously capped video posts at 60 seconds.

More importantly, 72 percent of USA kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram, second to YouTube at 85 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Just like Instagram, IGTV will not have specified "content creators" and encourages engagement among all users.

One wannabe social media influencer, Seth Lugibihl, posted a pretty thoughtful video on YouTube about the potential he sees for IGTV to be even bigger than YouTube, where he has just 704 subscribers.

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