Introducing IGTV: Instagram Just Expanded Into 1 Hour Videos

Kevin Systrom on stage at the IGTV launch

Apart from this, the company has also stated how business, content creators and others can make use of the platform through its massive user base.

Instagram's YouTube era apparently starts now.

Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for a combination of cash and stock worth some $1 billion at the time.

Mr Systrom said: "Since our launch in 2010, we've watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown". Users will also be able to discover IGTV content within the Explore tab on Instagram.

In a blog post - which starts off by announcing the one billion user milestone - Instagram announced IGTV, a new mobile-oriented video service which will allow users to record videos up to one hour long.

Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. Will people want to watch videos up to an hour long vertically? "We've made it simple, too". Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app.

Instagram does not immediately plan to share revenue with video creators but may in the future, Systrom said.

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There also are no ads in IGTV, yet. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. As you might expect, the app will pull in clips from creators "you love most" and are following in the main Instagram app.

For now content creators (basically anyone who has created a channel) will be able to upload videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.

Are you a techie who knows how to write?

The IGTV button is located at the top right of the Instagram app home screen, next to the message inbox button. The company is also obviously trying to strike a blow at YouTube, which has dominated mobile video for over a decade. Actually, IGTV is launching without any ads at all, and Instagram isn't making direct payments to stars, either.

According to the research firm eMarketer, 181.7 million Americans will watch video content on their smartphones at least once a month this year, up 6.1 per cent from a year ago. Speaking of which, hitting the one billion active monthly user's mark will help Instagram (and thus Facebook) in two ways.

The differentiating factor between them is that everyone will be given access to vertical videos, not just the social media's elite. "Instagram is in a position of strength and this is both an offensive and defensive strategic move for them".

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