Instagram unveils new video service app

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Social network Instagram is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube.

Facebook-owned Instagram said on Wednesday it was adding a section dedicated to long-form video, expanding beyond its photo-sharing app roots in a competition among streaming services for consumers’ time.

Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom announced at an event in San Francisco that the section would be called IGTV and feature videos from rising internet celebrities and artists.

Systrom told The Associated Press that he hopes IGTV will emerge as a hub of creativity for relative unknowns who turn into internet sensations with fervent followings among teens and young adults.

The IGTV will increase Instagram’s video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users, and accounts with large audiences will be able to distribute programs lasting up to an hour.

It will give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

The initiative comes as parent company Facebook struggles to attract teens, while also dealing with a scandal that exposed its leaky controls for protecting users’ personal information.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion six years ago, recently crossed 1 billion users, up from 800 million users nine months ago.

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