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Instagram crosses 1 billion monthly active users, unveils long-form video

Sara Salinas
Competition for eyes and ads keeps heating up as Alphabet, Snap, Twitter and Facebook's core platform all ratchet up original and curated content.

Instagram is officially diving into long-form video.

The new video hub, called IGTV, will host vertical videos as long as 60 minutes. That makes the platform more suited to mobile use than YouTube. Videos will be curated into channels, similar to Snapchat's discover feature. Any user can upload videos.

The company also said it now has 1 billion monthly active users.

Instagram said IGTV will be available as a standalone app as well as its flagship app.

The Facebook -owned photo-sharing app has previously dealt in still images and videos of up to 60 seconds. CNBC earlier reported Instagram was planning to roll out a longer video format in a challenge to Alphabet 's YouTube and its established social media influencer community .

The new feature could keep users in the app longer and help Instagram capture coveted advertising dollars. Competition for eyes and ads keeps heating up as Alphabet, Snap , Twitter and Facebook's core platform all ratchet up original and curated content.

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