Facebook-owned social networking platform Instagram unveiled a new video mobile app on Wednesday designed to allow for longer user-generated videos.
The new app, dubbed IGTV, will increase Instagram’s video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most viewers. Accounts with larger audiences will be allowed to post videos up to an hour long.
“Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago,” Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said at an event to announce the launch in San Francisco. “It’s time for video to move forward and evolve.”
Instagram, which was founded as a photo-sharing app in 2010 and was bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, has surpassed 1 billion accounts, Systrom said.
Systrom told the Associated Press that he hopes IGTV becomes a hub for creativity that allows for relative unknowns to become internet sensations.
That transformation is happening on YouTube, a video platform Google purchased 12 years ago for $1.76 billion. YouTube now boasts 1.8 billion users.
The platform is the latest page Instagram has taken out of a competitor’s book, this time from Google video streaming service YouTube. Facebook and Instagram have also copied Snapchat’s “stories” feature, which allows users to post a slideshow that disappears after 24 hours. The competition is real