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Instagram officially launches IGTV, bringing long-form video to a new standalone app

After several weeks of rumors and speculation, Instagram has just announced that it will be bringing long-form vertical videos to the social network in the form of a standalone app called IGTV. To help get the ball rolling, Instagram has partnered with several well-known creators who will soon start publishing original content to the platform.

As reported earlier this morning, Instagram is calling the new long-form video initiative “IGTV.” But instead of being housed in the Explore tab as previously rumored, IGTV will be its own standalone app. But don’t worry, IGTV content will still be able to be watched from the primary Instagram app as a new icon will soon be added in the Home tab next to the direct message button.

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 strived to make 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.

Obviously, Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has been trying to get creators to move to its platform and away from YouTube and Snapchat, to publish original videos. While the company hasn’t given up on this idea just yet, it’s pretty clear that it hasn’t been an overwhelming success. Only time will tell if users respond well to long-form content on Instagram.

IGTV will be rolling out to Android users globally over the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and Instagram also announced that it now has over one billion active users globally.

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Avatar for Justin Duino Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at Tips are always welcome.