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In addition to IGTV, CEO Kevin Systrom announced a company milestone: 1 billion monthly active users now use Instagram, up from 800,000 active users in September.

Instagram has launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring numerous Instagram creators. IGTV videos are full screen and vertical.

Meanwhile, Instagram is obviously trying to give YouTube a run for its money as it also highlights having "channels" maintained by popular content creators. Unlike YouTube, all the videos are vertical and videos in the IGTV app will start playing as soon as you launch it. As you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up and be available to start watching. Instagram has decided on that already - it has launched IGTV, aka Instagram TV, a video platform that is set to rival YouTube and Vimeo.

You'll see videos appear both inside the Instagram app and inside IGTV with the latter focusing on taking screen time away from platforms like YouTube which is now dominating the ad-driven streaming video space. The app is available on Android as well as iOS. Some content is viewable on the Instagram app, but only for selected content creators. However, Instagram is making some exceptions for some of their larger creators as they will allow them to post up to 60 minutes of video.

Instagram has been outpacing rival social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat and has been gaining younger users even as Facebook itself has seen declines in the youth segment.

But while the convenience of watching full-screen vertically could be a hit, viewers may not be as pleased about burning their data to load hour-long videos. IGTV has four subheadings that allow you to customize your viewing.

Systrom said IGTV is built to be used on a smartphone, and boosts the time for videos from the previous limit of one minute.

"I'm still going to be posting on YouTube as well as on Instagram", said Pons, who plans to launch a new cooking show on IGTV. You will be able to view the content using the Instagram app too, apparently. Those who already have an Instagram account will have a channel created for them automatically. Instagram says that mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021.


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