Instagram monthly active users reaches 1 billion for the first time

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"We've come a really long way in just eight years, and it's thanks to this incredible community. that we've been able to launch IGTV", Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said on stage at the event in San Francisco.

But to that last point, it's worth noting that anyone can upload hour-long videos - the feature isn't restricted to the celebrity creators who will nearly certainly dominate the Explore tab.

We heard earlier this month that Instagram was planning support for long-form videos of up to an hour, and a new report suggests that the feature will launch today, with a few more details emerging ...

On a more serious note, the app sounds like a riff off of YouTube's original creator content, and a mixture of Snapchat's Discover feature where content from popular users can be surfaced as well. When you open the app it automatically starts playing videos from people you follow. Actually, IGTV is launching without any ads at all, and Instagram isn't making direct payments to stars, either. Though IGTV will not have ads at launch, Systrom said it's a likely place for them to "end up", both for the company's and creators' bottom lines.

Instagram also shares how businesses, creators, and more can "leverage" the new platform, reiterating its massive user base. In this case, Instagram is mimicking Google's YouTube.

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Instagram on Wednesday (June 20) announced a new in-app feature and standalone app that will allow users to post videos of up to 60 minutes. Will people want to watch videos up to an hour long vertically? You'll even be able to share IGTV videos to a Facebook page and, presumably, profiles.

Systrom told The Associated Press that he hopes IGTV will emerge as a hub of creativity for relative unknowns who turn into internet sensations with fervent followings among teens and young adults. 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. She briefly took the stage to preview an informal cooking show she plans to launch on IGTV.

IGTV will begin rolling out globally on iOS and Android over the next few weeks.

For creators and publishers, Watch is pitched as a platform to help them build an audience of fans and make money through advertisements - much like YouTube.

Initially, mobile and web users will have a 10-minute limit on their videos.

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