Instagram: Time to Tune in for Some IGTV

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The videos run vertically, because that's the way most people hold their phones, the company says. This comes as Instagram's global community hits the one billion mark.

On IGTV app or in-Instagram experience, viewers will be able to swipe through a variety of longer-form videos, or swipe up to visit a Browse tab of personally recommended videos, content creators they're following and popular videos.

Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Footage is meant to be shot and displayed vertically and videos will begin playing the moment the app is opened, no searching needed.

Instagram has just launched IGTV - the company's attempt at creating a YouTube-like, video-centric platform.

Instagram, which had some 800 million users as of September, has been outpacing rival social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat and has been gaining younger users even as Facebook itself has seen declines in the youth segment.

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

Systrom said IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone, and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute.

This new app is set to take YouTube heads-on.

"We have a very engaged community who tune into our Stories", Leung says, referring to the vertical video format already available on the main Instagram app. First, there are now 1 billion people using the app.

Instagram is following its parent company into the longer-form video space. Yesterday, a Facebook executive told Recode it would start running autoplay video ads in Messenger, another property launched as a kind of spinoff-app, this week.

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