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Instagram brings long-form video to 1 billion users

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent

Longer-form original content is coming to Instagram in a very big way.

The popular photo-sharing network unveiled IGTV, a new original content initiative on Wednesday, that brings the ability for any Instagram user to record and explore longer-form video. All users will initially be able to record video up to 10 minutes, while select accounts with larger followings will be able to record video up to 60 minutes. Instagram added the 10-minute constraint for all users is a short-term measure for IGTV’s rollout that will eventually be dropped.

Instagram users will be able to discover and explore the full-screen, longer-form video in the app’s Explore section and not Instagram’s main feed — a move the company said it made because Instagram users likely do not want to consume long-form video in their main feeds. A separate standalone app for recording video will become available sometime over the next few days, the company added.

“Teens may be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online,” explained Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who added that Instagram users consumed 60% more video over the last year.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at the company’s San Francisco event on Wednesday. Source: JP Mangalindan/Yahoo Finance

According to Systrom, Instagram will not be monetizing IGTV with ads in the immediate future, although that could potentially change down the line. Instagram is also currently not paying any Instagram users to create content for IGTV.

Instagram also disclosed that it now has 1 billion active users — up from 800 million last September. That’s pretty stellar growth from an app that launched nearly eight years ago and was acquired by Facebook (FB) for $1 billion in 2012.

The news was reported by our sister site, TechCrunch, on Tuesday.

JP Mangalindan is the Chief Tech Correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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