Instagram acquired by Facebook 6 years ago, for $1 billion, has seen a rise from 800 million users 9 months ago to 1 billion users today.  According to the Pew Research Centre 72% of US teenagers ranging from 13 to 17 years old use Instagram although only 51% now use Facebook.  This is down from 2014-15 figures which suggested there were 71% using Facebook.  This would account for Facebook’s latest feature which allows you to make your own TV content and show it off.  Research shows that in the teenage group and with many ‘millennials’ this feature is second only to YouTube in its use.  Essentially, it’s being seen as a rival of YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover section

Analyst Paul Verna of the research firm eMarketer, said Facebook is ‘hedging its bets’ by opening Instagram to the longer-form videos typically found on YouTube.

Co-founder and CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom has said, “Besides giving Instagram another potential drawing card, longer clips are more conducive for video ads lasting from 30 seconds to one minute. Instagram doesn’t currently allow video ads,” but Systrom said it eventually will. “When the ads come, Instagram intends to share revenue with the videos’ creators – just as YouTube already does.” We want to make sure they make a living because that is the only way it works in the long runHe said the app, IGTV, was designed to make it easier to find and watch videos on a mobile phone. He pointed out that most video apps require you to search or browse through a directory — as opposed to television, where you simply turn it on and start watching. IGTV, on the other hand, will simply start playing video the moment you open it. Among other things, this “lean back” mode could make IGTV a powerful new place for Instagram to put ads.

IGTV will also allow creators to upload video directly to Instagram, a product manager said, representing an effort to turn the app into a home for mobile video to rival YouTube. Videos can be up to 10 minutes long to start, with larger accounts able to post hour long videos. Over the long term, the company expects to let all users post videos of unlimited length, Systrom said.

He continued There will be no ads on IGTV to start, but that would be “a reasonable place to end up.”  He said there would be a revenue-sharing deal with partners eventually.

Instagram’s introduction of 24-hour, ephemeral stories and direct messaging features were designed to make it a primary communication channel for its users. IGTV represents an effort to expand in a different direction — toward connecting people toward their broader interests. Instagram would increasingly try to both marry personal relationships and interests, Systrom said. “You can’t really get that anywhere else — that unique mix of the two,” Systrom said.