To celebrate (the impressive) achievement of reaching 1 billion users, Instagram has launched its own stand alone video-based app. Instagram TV, or IGTV for the cool kids, allows users to upload vertical videos that can be up to one hour long. You may say this is some kind of revolution. There’s no doubt the way in which the world consumes media has shifted. So much so that according to Instagram, by 2020, 50% of all video viewing will be done on a mobile screen.
To make sure you’re well ahead of the social media game, for your personal use or your business, we’re going to uncover what IGTV is, how to create an account and how to upload your first video:
What is IGTV?
Essentially, IGTV is a social platform where videos can be shared and viewed. But what makes it so different? For starters, unlike the videos or Stories that you’re able to post on Instagram today, IGTV allows you to upload long form videos (up to one hour) and the videos won’t disappear after 24 hours. This raises the bar in terms of what people are posting. Secondly: videos are uploaded in full screen and vertical format (just as smartphones were intended to be used). Finally, the way the app functions is quite something. Unlike YouTube, where the user is required to search for something, IGTV starts playing the second the app is open (much like the action of turning on an actual television). That’s not to say you’re unable to search within IGTV. It also takes on a “on demand” feature as a video that you stopped watching will resume from where you left it.
Note that every IGTV channel is linked to a corresponding Instagram account. Which means, all your Instagram followers can view your IGTV channel. Think of Instagram and IGTV like Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Although they are two separate apps that can function individually, they live side by side each other and, together, they make up the complete package.
Why you should use it?
On top of giving you the chance to reach a whole new audience, IGTV offers certain features that really make it worth your while. The most prominent being the length of each video. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want flexibility and less limitations. Can you? Instagram has noted that the reason videos are vertical is with the intention that videos are recorded using mobile. This is to encourage videos that are not heavily edited but rather taken on a more “raw” look and feel. There are a number of ways you can take advantage of this feature for your business. A couple include: vlogging, a product launch, a behind the scenes look, a product demo or an ad of your latest sale campaign. IGTV enables users to add a title and description to each upload. Plus, you can create a thumbnail for said video so your profile always looks organized and profesh.
How to create an IGTV account
Before you can start sharing your videos with the world, you need to first create an Instagram TV account. The good news is that our friends over at Instagram have made the whole process super easy and it can be completed in just a few clicks. Here are the steps you need to take in order to create an IGTV account:
Sign up to the IGTV app (if you’re already logged in to your native Instagram account it will automatically use your profile).
Click on the settings gear icon in the right hand corner, and then click “create channel”.
And voila! You’re in. Quick and easy.
How to upload a video to IGTV
Now that you’re account is set up, you should explore the app and ultimately publish your first video. Here is how to successfully upload a video to IGTV:
Click on your avatar (from the main page) which will take you to your account.
Click the “+” in the right hand corner to add a new vid.
Select a vertical video from your camera roll.
Add in your title and description. Note: just like when you upload a video to YouTube or write a blog you want to utilize relevant keywords. Same goes for IGTV, make sure your videos are “searchable” by adding in some powerful keywords.
Link your video to an external page. Think of all the possibilities. You could link to your website, a gallery, your portfolio or even your online store.
Create a thumbnail for your video so your channel stays neat and organized.
Hit that post button and you’re all set.
After you’ve done a well deserved celebratory dance, check your IGTV stats: click on the “…” button next to the like, comment, share section. From here, select “View insights”. Now you will be able to gain access to information such as: number of views, likes and comments.
Note: Users can upload videos through the IGTV app or the web.
Answers to your questions
Considering how new IGTV is, we thought it may be helpful to go over a couple of questions that if unanswered, may leave you scratching your head:
How long can IGTV videos be? Between 15 seconds to 10 minutes. For larger accounts (and verified accounts) there is an option to upload videos that run up to one hour long.
What video types are supported on IGTV? Video files are required to be in .MP4.
Where do you watch IGTV? You can watch from within Instagram or on the IGTV app.
What are the correct sizes my video needs to be? Vertical videos should follow the following aspect ratio: 9:16
What type of file should the thumbnail/image cover be? The file type should be: .JPG
Can you have more than one IGTV Channel? No, you can only have one IGTV channel per Instagram account. This is because, if you follow a creator on IGTV you also follow them on Instagram and vice versa.
Can you advertise on IGTV? As of now, no. However, Instagram says it has future plans for advertising options.