Instagram has just revealed the new way it hopes will help it compete with the likes of YouTube and Snapchat.
The Facebook-owned social-networking app unveiled IGTV – a new app for publishing long-form videos on Instagram – on Wednesday.
It will allow people to produce and publish 4K vertical videos that are significantly longer than the previous limit of 60 seconds.
“We’ve come a really long way in just eight years, and it’s thanks to this incredible community ... that we've been able to launch IGTV,” Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom said at a launch event in San Francisco, which was beset by delays and technical issues.
The move brings Instagram into direct competition with YouTube, as well as Snapchat’s Discover section, as it attempts to persuade high-profile influencers – and ordinary users – to make the jump for their web-video needs.
It is also a gamble. The mobile-first, vertical-video format is popular when it comes to short clips such as Instagram Stories, but it is relatively untested when it comes to longer content.
Will people want to watch videos up to an hour long vertically? Instagram is betting that the answer is yes.
“It’s mobile first, it’s simple, and it’s quality," Systrom said. “That’s IGTV.”
There will be a stand-alone IGTV app, as well as an IGTV experience built into the Instagram app, where it can be accessed via a dedicated section – the long-form videos will not appear in the Instagram feed, although users’ followed accounts and followers will transfer over to the new section.
Systrom said IGTV was now available for Android and iOS and through an update in the Instagram app.
The app is aimed at what Instagram calls “creators”, but anyone can create and upload videos.
Instagram said high-profile initial users included Kim Kardashian West, Selena Gomez, and Kevin Hart, and the influencer Lele Pons, who will be making a cooking show, and the Instagram-famous dog Jiffpom.
Initially, Instagram has placed a cap on the videos: 10 minutes for most users, and an hour for certain accounts with more followers.
But those limits are likely be to temporary.
Instagram said it intended to remove them later on. Systrom also said that there would not be adverts on the videos for now, although it was likely that there would be in the future.
“Right now we’re focused on building engagement, and there are no ads on IGTV from day one," he said.
“But that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.”
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.