Instagram reached two major milestones today. First, there are currently 1 billion people using the app. With such a huge platform, the company is now trying to capitalize on it. Following through on rumors from earlier this month, Instagram has launched a new long-form, vertical video platform called IGTV, a response to YouTube that will support videos up to 1-hour long.  

There will be a stand-alone IGTV app, but the content will also be available on the existing Instagram app. In a kind of TV and YouTube hybrid, the app will be organized by channels, which will just lead you to each creator’s page. As soon as you open the app, videos will begin playing. As a result, you’ll be able to watch content from people you already follow but also discover others. 

Instagram's IGTV.
Image via Instagram

The videos will include some scripted shows and music videos, though Deadline reports that the goal is to aim for the 10-minute range to compete with YouTube and Snapchat. The videos will be smartphone-ready with a vertical orientation, and will be available in up to 4K resolution. 

“With all of the cat videos, how do you find the creators you guys all love?” founder-CEO Kevin Systrom asked the crowd at the launch, according to Deadline. “In a world of overwhelming choice, you want the best videos, not all videos.”

Instagram's IGTV.
Image via Instagram