With 1 billion users, Instagram takes on YouTube in video

Accounts with a large following will be able to post hour-long videos.

On a more serious note, the app sounds like a riff off of YouTube's original creator content, and a mixture of Snapchat's Discover feature where content from popular users can be surfaced as well. "What we have always done really well is remain a neutral platform that connects people to their audience and their friends", Systrom said. When you open the app it automatically starts playing videos from people you follow.

However, Instagram won't be paying creators to make shows on IGTV, according to the Verge.

As Facebook itself has moved deeper into video, Instagram will become a direct competitor to YouTube with IGTV.

IGTV also has channels, just like a TV, but the channels are the creators themselves.

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.

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

While Facebook offers no detailed revenue breakdown, the research firm eMarketer estimates Instagram will generate $5.48 billion in net USA ad revenue this year, up 70.4 percent from last year and accounting for more than one-fourth of Facebook's net mobile ad revenue.

That trend appears to be one of the reasons that Facebook is "hedging its bets" by opening Instagram to the longer-form videos typically found on YouTube, said analyst Paul Verna of the research firm eMarketer.

IGTV comes about two years after the launch of Instagram Stories, a feature that allows users to share photos and multiple short videos of up to 15 seconds, uploaded within a 24-hour time span.

Systrom announced the launch of the IGTV platform which will have a separate smartphone app or can be watched from Instagram. Instagram hasn't talked about the possibility of turning off video autoplay when launching the service, but it's likely that it will be a requested feature. "This is acknowledging vertical video is the future and we want the future to come more quickly, so we built IGTV".

Instagram boasts as many as 800 million active users, 500 million of which use the service every day.

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