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IGTV
Instagram’s IGTV screen grabs. (Instagram images)

So much for all that effort I make to get people to turn their phones to landscape position when shooting video.

Instagram, in an announcement to its billion-strong global community of users, is launching a new standalone app called IGTV for watching long-form, vertical video. Instagram revealed the news at an event Wednesday morning, and co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom wrote about it all in a blog post.

IGTV will allow users to create videos that are up to an hour long, unlike the current Instagram app where videos max out at one minute. And while the new app is designed as the home for such content, it will all be accessible through the normal app.

(Instagram images)

“It’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical,” Systrom wrote. “We strived to make it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests.”

IGTV creators are the “channels” that users will follow and watch. A list of popular Instagrammers — some of the world’s “top-followed accounts” — were shared, as they will be adding content to their channels starting today:

The entire effort by Facebook-owned Instagram is an obvious attempt at getting folks who are used to going to YouTube for all of their video needs to shift some of that allegiance to IGTV.

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