We all know by now that Instagram’s Stories function only allows for 15-second long video clips to be uploaded, and for regular Instagram posts, the limit is a whopping 60 seconds. With that said, Instagram just made watching videos way more fun as it has just unveiled a standalone app called IGTV which allows its users to watch videos that last up to one hour.

IGTV, now available on iOS and Android, features long-form vertical videos that are uploaded from people you follow, alongside recommendations extended by Instagram, making it almost effortless to find and watch videos from the mobile phone instead of having to search or browse through channels or a directory.

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From our CEO @kevin: “Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (@laurdiy) posting her newest project or King Bach (@kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start. IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. We made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

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Whether this will affect YouTube’s longstanding success is unclear, but IGTV may just be the hot new avenue for creators to upload videos directly onto Instagram. While videos can only be up to 10 minutes to begin with, larger and more accounts will be entitled to hour-long videos. Instagram aims to allow users to post videos of unlimited lengths in the near future.

There are no ads on IGTV as of now although a revenue-sharing deal with partners will eventually be implemented. Instagram’s focus on video further strengthens its footing as one of the most popular social media platforms in history, now boasting at least 1 billion users worldwide.

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Now that we’ve erased Snapchat entirely from our lives, will YouTube be next thanks to IGTV? Hmm…

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