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Instagram Unveils IGTV, a New Standalone App For Sharing Hour-Long Vertical Videos

Instagram announced a standalone app for watching long-form vertical video that will also have a tab inside the flagship app. When you log in to IGTV, it will automatically begin playing vertical videos from people you follow, along with personalized recommendations from elsewhere in Instagram. This will offer creators the ability to create video content up to 60 minutes long. Creators will be able to develop and build their own channel, drawing comparisons to YouTube. The app is now available on iOS and Android.

IGTV is now available in the most recent version of the Instagram app. The new feature supports longform video — up to an hour long — shot in vertical orientation. The videos take up the entire smartphone screen, like Instagram Stories, and they will be accessible not only within the Instagram app, but via a separate IGTV app which is slated to launch in the coming days.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV will start playing videos as soon as you open the app. In other words, Instagram has designed IGTV to be more like traditional TV, presenting content they think you’re going to enjoy without you having to search for it.

Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel! And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct.

There will be no ads on IGTV to start, but that would be “a reasonable place to end up,” Systrom said. He said there would be a revenue-sharing deal with partners eventually, but not to start.