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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Instagram launches IGTV - a mobile video service 

The new vertical video service, called IGTV, will take on YouTube and increase the average Instagram user's video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes

You'll now be able to watch longform videos from your favourite social media pet celebrities, like @JiffPom. Courtesy Instagram
You'll now be able to watch longform videos from your favourite social media pet celebrities, like @JiffPom. Courtesy Instagram

A new app allowing long-form vertical video became available to Instagram users on Thursday. The new service, called IGTV, will increase the average Instagram users' video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes. Top followed accounts will be able to show video for up to an hour. The IGTV announcement also came with the news that Facebook platform, now nearly 8-years-old, has a billion users.

There is a separate IGTV app if you want just video, but the service will also be available on the main Instagram app: users will be able to upload longer videos via the dedicated app, or via a TV shaped button on the main app. In a similar layout to Google-owned YouTube, IGTV will also include channels made by video creators.

The move appears to be a bid by Facebook to attract a younger audience to its platform. A study by the Pew Research Centre showed that 72 per cent of American teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 use Instagram, while 85 per cent use YouTube. Of that demographic, only 51 per cent use Facebook.

"The way we are watching video is changing," Instagram chief Kevin Systrom told the event in San Francisco on Wednesday where IGTV was announced.

"Anyone can be a creator - you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel," Systrom said.

Some more on the new service...

- Mobile-first: IGTV is built for how you naturally use and hold your phone, so videos are all full screen and vertical.

- Simple to use: It starts playing as soon as you open the app, so you don't have to search to get started.

- Content: IGTV is built on the Instagram network so you can watch videos from people you already follow on Instagram, as well as discover others.

Who is already using it? As well as global top Instagram users, some of our regional influencers were quick to adopt the new app: Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty), Shereen Mitwalli (@shereenmitwalli) and Kris Fade (@krisfade)

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