Instagram monthly active users reaches 1 billion for the first time

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Instagram has launched IGTV, a mobile-centric vertical video platform.

"Anyone can be a creator - you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel", Systrom said. The company is also pitching the merits of the new hub to creators, citing longer permanent videos (instead of disappearing ones like Stories) and the ability to leverage Instagram's massive user base.

For the Facebook-owned service, it's increasingly important to chip away at YouTube's dominance in video. All users will initially be able to record video up to 10 minutes, while select accounts with larger followings will be able to record video up to 60 minutes. It is especially popular with younger people. Instagram's pitch here is that watching video content on mobile devices is clunky (*cough* YouTube *cough*) and a platform dedicated to long-form, vertical videos will make things a lot more intuitive.

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Instagram wanted IGTV to feel natural.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion six years ago, now has 1 billion users, up from 800 million nine months ago.

That is what's already happening on YouTube, which has become the world's most popular video outlet since Google bought it for $1.76 billion USA almost 12 years ago.

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Like YouTube, Instagram also has a large community of influential users with very big followings. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren't limited to one minute. Instagram doesn't now allow video ads, but Systrom said it eventually will.

The ads also will help Facebook sustain its revenue growth. The selections are overlaid over the videos themselves, and once you've selected a video, you can tap the background to enter full-screen mode.

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