Instagram launches mobile TV feature to compete with YouTube

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Instagram said Wednesday it now has more than one billion active users, highlighting surging growth at the Facebook-owned social network focused on photo and video sharing. The company also announced a new app called IGTV, designed for longer videos and populated with famous Instagram content creators.

Instagram says the new app will include features like being able to begin watching content from people you already follow on Instagram right when you launch the app.

The IGTV app will be available on both Android and iOS, and you can head over to Google Play and install it now.

- Mobile-first: IGTV is built for how you naturally use and hold your phone, so videos are all full screen and vertical.

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Called IGTV, the app is created to let you watch long-form, vertical video.

Moreover, IGTV will just start playing video the minute user opens it.

If you are a fan of watching vertical video, then Instagram has just announced a new way to consume plenty of it. However, it is accessible from the regular Instagram app. Eventually, the app will let all users posts videos of unlimited length.

As Instagram is now going head-to-head against its closest competitors Youtube and Snapchat, it aims to cater big-name celebrities, influencers, and the general public as well to step up their content. "It's mobile first, it's simple and it's high quality", shared Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. The star, however, has said that she will continue to post her videos on YouTube and the new IGTV app, without showing her preference in any way for one over the other. The company's next step is to break into videos full-time with its very own standalone app, IGTV.

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While there's a stand-alone IGTV app, you can access it through your Instagram account.

Systrom further explains, "Also like TV, IGTV has channels". You can like, comment, and send videos directly to your friends, and also discover additional creatives based on your interests or popularity.

As for who can create content for IGTV, Instagram notes that "anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web". IGTV videos are full screen and vertical.

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