Instagram launches IGTV long-form video hub

The videos play upright on smart devices and content begins playing automatically when the app is opened. (Instagram/Facebook)

Like its parent company Facebook, social platform Instagram is making a big push into long-form video content with the launch of its new IGTV service.

IGTV, which is available through an icon in the top corner of the Instagram app and through its own upcoming standalone app, will serve as a hub for video content that can be up to one-hour long. That’s significantly longer than the 15- and 60-second caps the service puts on uploaded videos and stories.

IGTV features a mix of videos from users and professional publishers including BuzzFeed, Discovery Channel and Vice Media. Instagram said the service will focus on surfacing videos from the most popular creators and people that users already follow. Creators can upload their own videos either through the app or on the web.

The videos play upright on smart devices and content begins playing automatically when the app is opened.

“We believe this is the future of video. People continue to spend more time with entertainment on their mobile devices, and we're making it easier for them to get closer to the creators and original content they love,” Instagram wrote in a blog post.

RELATED: Instagram launches live streaming, disappearing media, as it takes on Snapchat

Instagram’s IGTV is positioned as a direct competitor to YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover feature. But unlike YouTube, IGTV doesn’t have a monetization model in place.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told VentureBeat that IGTV at launch won’t have advertising or make payments to its creators. But he said that creators can share links on IGTV if it’s part of deals they’ve made with brands.

The publication also confirmed that Instagram doesn’t currently plan on making original content for IGTV.

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