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Today's Update; The Ultimate Guide to IGTV!

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

IGTV is taking Instagram video to the next level and brands are loving it! With more opportunities to be discovered on the Explore page, long-form video content up to 10 minutes for all profiles, and the ability to make a running video series, IGTV is one surefire way to boost your Instagram strategy. In this Ultimate Guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know from creating your channel to analyzing your video performance!


What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience.

YouTube has exploded in popularity in recent years, and because of mobile video, the amount of time teens spend watching TV has decreased 40%!

By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV.

Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel, where they can share long-form videos with their followers.

For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit.


IGTV is taking Instagram video to the next level and brands are loving it! With more opportunities to be discovered on the Explore page, long-form video content up to 10 minutes for all profiles, and the ability to make a running video series, IGTV is one surefire way to boost your Instagram strategy. In this Ultimate Guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know from creating your channel to analyzing your video performance! Table of Contents:

  1. What is IGTV?

  2. 5 Things to Know About IGTV

  3. How to Create an IGTV Channel

  4. How to Upload Videos to IGTV

  5. How to Share a Preview of Your IGTV Video on Your Instagram Feed

  6. How to Schedule an IGTV Video

  7. How to Create an IGTV Series (& Why Your Brand Needs One!)

  8. Understanding IGTV Insights

  9. FAQs: IGTV Video Length, Analytics, & More

What is IGTV? IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience. YouTube has exploded in popularity in recent years, and because of mobile video, the amount of time teens spend watching TV has decreased 40%! By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV. Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel, where they can share long-form videos with their followers. For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit. IGTV is also no longer only for vertical video! According to a recent press release, Instagram now supports both vertical and horizontal videos on IGTV! This is big news for creators and social media managers alike. Up until now, IGTV only supported vertical video, which was a big part of its launch in June 2018.


You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the standalone IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification in the native Instagram app.


instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel!

And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct.


There are also no ads — yet. “Right now we’re focused on building engagement,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press conference after the launch. “But that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.”

To help you kick off your IGTV channel, we sat down with Jon Youshaei, Product Marketing Manager of IGTV from Instagram HQ to get his best tips on how to create a successful IGTV strategy! Here’s what we learned:


5 Things to Know About IGTV, Instagram’s Video Platform + App

#1: IGTV is Both Vertical & Horizontal

Like we’ve said, IGTV used to be all about vertical video. But thankfully, Instagram has decided to switch focus to both vertical and horizontal videos.


Instagram says the change comes because of creator feedback. “We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators.”

“Vertical videos work great for creators who want to be up-close and personal with their audience; but landscape also has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame.”


IGTV is taking Instagram video to the next level and brands are loving it! With more opportunities to be discovered on the Explore page, long-form video content up to 10 minutes for all profiles, and the ability to make a running video series, IGTV is one surefire way to boost your Instagram strategy. In this Ultimate Guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know from creating your channel to analyzing your video performance! Table of Contents:

  1. What is IGTV?

  2. 5 Things to Know About IGTV

  3. How to Create an IGTV Channel

  4. How to Upload Videos to IGTV

  5. How to Share a Preview of Your IGTV Video on Your Instagram Feed

  6. How to Schedule an IGTV Video

  7. How to Create an IGTV Series (& Why Your Brand Needs One!)

  8. Understanding IGTV Insights

  9. FAQs: IGTV Video Length, Analytics, & More

What is IGTV? IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience. YouTube has exploded in popularity in recent years, and because of mobile video, the amount of time teens spend watching TV has decreased 40%! By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV. Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel, where they can share long-form videos with their followers. For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit. IGTV is also no longer only for vertical video! According to a recent press release, Instagram now supports both vertical and horizontal videos on IGTV! This is big news for creators and social media managers alike. Up until now, IGTV only supported vertical video, which was a big part of its launch in June 2018. You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the standalone IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification in the native Instagram app. Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel! And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct. There are also no ads — yet. “Right now we’re focused on building engagement,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press conference after the launch. “But that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.” To help you kick off your IGTV channel, we sat down with Jon Youshaei, Product Marketing Manager of IGTV from Instagram HQ to get his best tips on how to create a successful IGTV strategy! Here’s what we learned: <span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span> Hear more from Jon and get even more info about IGTV in our How to Build an Amazing IGTV Strategy blog post! 5 Things to Know About IGTV, Instagram’s Video Platform + App #1: IGTV is Both Vertical & Horizontal Like we’ve said, IGTV used to be all about vertical video. But thankfully, Instagram has decided to switch focus to both vertical and horizontal videos. Instagram says the change comes because of creator feedback. “We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators.” “Vertical videos work great for creators who want to be up-close and personal with their audience; but landscape also has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame.” There’s also the fact that many creators were already sharing landscape videos on IGTV — but viewers couldn’t flip their phones to watch them in full screen, so it made for a less than ideal viewing experience. Here are two examples of what horizontal videos used to look like on IGTV: @beamiller‘s is quickly edited to include a blurred background, and @jeffmindell‘s is the full horizontal video that you would rotate your phone to watch. This decision to open IGTV up to landscape video doesn’t really come as a surprise. While creating a vertical video-only platform was an innovative move from Instagram, it was also a new format that many people weren’t used to creating. Basically, vertical video takes more time to create and edit, and it’s difficult to repurpose to other social platforms. That’s not to say that vertical video is a bad thing! The format makes it easy for anyone to feel like they can start creating, and instead of the pressure to create professional videos on a camera, vertical video naturally encourages you to record on your phone instead. Vertical video also makes for a better mobile experience, because you don’t have to rotate your phone or just watch a smaller version. Video has become an increasingly important skill in social media marketing, and now with the launch of IGTV, it’s time to brush up or build your video shooting and editing skills! Learn how to grow your business with video in our free Instagram Stories for Business course: #2: IGTV is Like YouTube, Not Netflix Even though you can upload videos up to 1 hour long on IGTV, don’t expect to be watching your favorite TV shows on it anytime soon. The goal of IGTV is to be more like YouTube, and less like Netflix (after all, that’s what Facebook Watch is for). IGTV is meant more for following your favorite influencers or vloggers, instead of the Hollywood elite. Instagram is trying to take a piece of YouTube and Snapchat’s pie by luring teen influencers like Bryce Xavier and Lele Pons over to IGTV, and many prominent social media + YouTube influencers were part of the IGTV launch.


IGTV is taking Instagram video to the next level and brands are loving it! With more opportunities to be discovered on the Explore page, long-form video content up to 10 minutes for all profiles, and the ability to make a running video series, IGTV is one surefire way to boost your Instagram strategy. In this Ultimate Guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know from creating your channel to analyzing your video performance! Table of Contents:

  1. What is IGTV?

  2. 5 Things to Know About IGTV

  3. How to Create an IGTV Channel

  4. How to Upload Videos to IGTV

  5. How to Share a Preview of Your IGTV Video on Your Instagram Feed

  6. How to Schedule an IGTV Video

  7. How to Create an IGTV Series (& Why Your Brand Needs One!)

  8. Understanding IGTV Insights

  9. FAQs: IGTV Video Length, Analytics, & More

What is IGTV? IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience. YouTube has exploded in popularity in recent years, and because of mobile video, the amount of time teens spend watching TV has decreased 40%! By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV. Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel, where they can share long-form videos with their followers. For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit. IGTV is also no longer only for vertical video! According to a recent press release, Instagram now supports both vertical and horizontal videos on IGTV! This is big news for creators and social media managers alike. Up until now, IGTV only supported vertical video, which was a big part of its launch in June 2018. You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the standalone IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification in the native Instagram app. Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel! And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct. There are also no ads — yet. “Right now we’re focused on building engagement,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press conference after the launch. “But that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.” To help you kick off your IGTV channel, we sat down with Jon Youshaei, Product Marketing Manager of IGTV from Instagram HQ to get his best tips on how to create a successful IGTV strategy! Here’s what we learned: <span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span> Hear more from Jon and get even more info about IGTV in our How to Build an Amazing IGTV Strategy blog post! 5 Things to Know About IGTV, Instagram’s Video Platform + App #1: IGTV is Both Vertical & Horizontal Like we’ve said, IGTV used to be all about vertical video. But thankfully, Instagram has decided to switch focus to both vertical and horizontal videos. Instagram says the change comes because of creator feedback. “We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators.” “Vertical videos work great for creators who want to be up-close and personal with their audience; but landscape also has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame.” There’s also the fact that many creators were already sharing landscape videos on IGTV — but viewers couldn’t flip their phones to watch them in full screen, so it made for a less than ideal viewing experience. Here are two examples of what horizontal videos used to look like on IGTV: @beamiller‘s is quickly edited to include a blurred background, and @jeffmindell‘s is the full horizontal video that you would rotate your phone to watch. This decision to open IGTV up to landscape video doesn’t really come as a surprise. While creating a vertical video-only platform was an innovative move from Instagram, it was also a new format that many people weren’t used to creating. Basically, vertical video takes more time to create and edit, and it’s difficult to repurpose to other social platforms. That’s not to say that vertical video is a bad thing! The format makes it easy for anyone to feel like they can start creating, and instead of the pressure to create professional videos on a camera, vertical video naturally encourages you to record on your phone instead. Vertical video also makes for a better mobile experience, because you don’t have to rotate your phone or just watch a smaller version. Video has become an increasingly important skill in social media marketing, and now with the launch of IGTV, it’s time to brush up or build your video shooting and editing skills! Learn how to grow your business with video in our free Instagram Stories for Business course: FREE COURSE! How to Use Instagram Stories for Business Learn how to get more followers, drive traffic to your website, and make sales with Instagram Stories! WATCH NOW FOR FREE! #2: IGTV is Like YouTube, Not Netflix Even though you can upload videos up to 1 hour long on IGTV, don’t expect to be watching your favorite TV shows on it anytime soon. The goal of IGTV is to be more like YouTube, and less like Netflix (after all, that’s what Facebook Watch is for). IGTV is meant more for following your favorite influencers or vloggers, instead of the Hollywood elite. Instagram is trying to take a piece of YouTube and Snapchat’s pie by luring teen influencers like Bryce Xavier and Lele Pons over to IGTV, and many prominent social media + YouTube influencers were part of the IGTV launch. “Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed,” notes TechCrunch. “The idea is to let these creators, who have a knack for this style of content and who already have sizeable Instagram audiences, set the norms for what IGTV is about.” This is good news for your business, because you don’t have to create a super polished video in order to upload it to IGTV! As far as production quality goes, think of it like a step up from your Instagram Stories, but it doesn’t have to be as perfect or curated like an Instagram post or video would be. In fact, Later’s first IGTV was written, shot, and edited in less than 5 hours! You can just film on your phone, edit it in iMovie, and then upload it to your channel — it’s a quick and budget-friendly way to dip your toes into IGTV! #3: IGTV is an Addictive Mobile Experience Even though you won’t be seeing your favorite TV shows on IGTV, Instagram is trying to make the overall experience a lot like traditional TV. Everyone who has an Instagram account can create their own IGTV “channel,” which is where all your IGTV videos will live (separate from your regular Instagram bio + Instagram Stories Highlights). Just like when you turn the TV on and a show starts playing right away, when you open the IGTV app, a video will automatically start playing. Viewers can like or comment on IGTV videos while they’re watching them, similar to how you can interact with Facebook videos.


#4: Hosting an IGTV Series is a Big Opportunity for Brands

Instagram recently announced a brand new feature specifically to help creators start their own IGTV series! But brands and publishers like Lululemon, BBC News, and So Yummy were quick to get on board with series content..


#5: IGTV Videos Appear x4 Larger than Photos on the Explore Page

Instagram is making video content a real asset for brands — by giving IGTV videos a much larger spot on the Explore page than photos, your videos will get prime real estate in front of new audiences!



How to Create Videos for IGTV:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of actually shooting and sharing vertical video for IGTV, let’s take a quick look at the technical specs:

  • Video format: MP4

  • Length: Videos must be at least one minute long. The maximum length your video can be is 15 minutes when uploading from a mobile device and 60 minutes when uploading from the web

  • Size: 650MB for videos less than 10 minutes; 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes

  • Orientation: vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape)

  • Aspect ratio: Instagram recommends that vertical IGTV videos should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, while horizontal videos should be 16:9


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