In two years, Instagram doubled its growth and now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Looking at the trajectory, Instagram shows no signs of slowing down with 5 percent growth per quarter.

A big reason for that rapid growth is Instagram Stories, which launched in 2016. A spokesperson for Instagram confirmed that and told TechCrunch, "Yes, it’s impacted growth and retention."

As a refresher, Instagram Stories are 15-second, slice-of-life videos that disappear in 24 hours, unless you save them to your highlights. As of November 2017, 29 percent of all Instagram users engaged with Instagram Stories each day.

After Stories launched, Instagram users under 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram while users over 25 spend more than 24 minutes.

In short, users are enamored with Instagram Stories, and Instagram sees the potential to build on that momentum. Research also shows that in 2019, for the first time, adults will spend more time each day on their mobile devices than watching television. It seems like Instagram knew the shift was coming.

Instagram recently launched IGTV, which will allow content creators to upload hourlong videos. Though, over time, that limit may increase or go away. Because IGTV is built for mobile, all videos air vertically and fill the entire phone screen.

"It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve," said Instagram’s CEO and co-founder, Kevin Systrom, at a press event. "IGTV is for watching long-from videos from your favorite creators."

Users can like, comment or send videos to friends using Instagram Direct. Content creators, too, can keep the conversation going by adding a call-to-action using the "Swipe Up" feature seen in Stories.

To access IGTV, tap the TV icon in the top right of the Instagram app. Or you can download the standalone IGTV app on either Google Play or the App Store.

"We made it a dedicated app, so you can tap on it and enjoy video without all the distraction," Systrom said. "When people browse through the feed they don't want to stop and watch a 10-minute video."

As soon as you open IGTV, content from people you already follow starts playing. You can also find new content to watch by browsing the "For You," "Following" or "Popular" section.

Each content creator gets their own channel, and anyone (or any brand!) can upload IGTV content starting today. Unlike Facebook, Instagram did not pay influencers to create content. But they were given early access to IGTV so that they could begin uploading content.

When IGTV launched, there were plenty of channels and videos for users to explore. Right now, you can watch all the content without the interruption of ads, which should help creators grow their audience.

Once creators gain enough traction, IGTV is expected to roll out monetization options for creators in the near future.

With Instagram Stories, Instagram went after (and eventually overtook) Snapchat. With IGTV, Instagram is taking on YouTube. Given its track record, it looks like YouTube can be given a run for its money.

Get ahead of the competition and embrace IGTV today. Here’s how to create an IGTV channel and upload your first video. Stay tuned for tips on how to use this new channel in the coming weeks.