In recent years, we've seen the power of video on the internet -- Facebook alone gets eight billion average daily views, and YouTube's video platform has enabled young teens to become national superstars (Justin Bieber, anyone?).
It's no surprise to hear people often prefer video over other types of online content. In fact, a Cisco report predicts internet video traffic will account for 80% of total Internet traffic by 2019.
You've probably already heard of a few options when it comes to publishing and promoting long-form video content -- like YouTube, or Facebook Live.
Now, there's another option: IGTV. In June 2018, Instagram released its own long-form video feature. While Instagram Stories only allows users to publish short, 30-second clips, IGTV allows users to publish vertical, long-form videos, either within the Instagram app or in the new IGTV app.
What is IGTV?
IGTV is Instagram's new standalone app that allows creators to make vertical, long-form video content. Unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV videos can be up to 10 minutes for all users, and up to 60 minutes for popular or verified users. The videos are meant to be consumed on a mobile device.
There are a few benefits to IGTV over other video platforms like YouTube -- for instance, IGTV doesn't have ads (yet). In a press conference after the launch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, "Right now we're focused on building engagement." This could incentivize users to choose IGTV over other video platforms for consuming content.
Additionally, IGTV is primarily meant for smartphones. The videos are vertical so users don't need to rotate their phones to watch. Vertical video is also easier to record and upload straight from a phone, but editing professional videos could get more difficult.
If you're interested in testing out the app for your own business, or simply want to know which brands to watch, you're in luck -- here, we've compiled all the tips and information you need to get started with IGTV.
How do you download IGTV?
To download the IGTV app, simply go to the the App Store or Google Play. Find the IGTV app, and click "install". If you don't want to download the app, you can still access IGTV by clicking on the TV-shaped icon in the top right corner of your Instagram home screen.
IGTV Video Length
Anyone with an Instagram account can upload an IGTV video. Most videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.
However, Instagram has said larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos that are up to an hour long. If you're publishing an hour-long video, you must upload it to IGTV from a computer.
How do you make an IGTV channel?
To make an IGTV channel, simply download the IGTV app, and sign in with your Instagram account's username and password. Next, select the "Settings" gear icon (beside your account picture), and click "Create Channel".
Editing IGTV Video Titles and Descriptions
To upload and edit your IGTV video title and description, follow these steps:
1. Open the IGTV app and click on the icon of your profile. Then, click "Upload Video".
2. Allow IGTV access to your videos, and then click on one.
3. Click "Next" in the top right.
4. Here, you're able to type a "Title" and "Description". You can also edit the cover photo.
5. When you're done, click "Post" to publish your video.
Once you've published a video to IGTV, it's easy to find analytics on your video. IGTV provides in-app insights including how many views, likes, and comments it has received, audience retention, and at which points of the video most people stopped watching.
To get these insights, open your IGTV app and click on one of your published videos. Then, follow these steps:
1. Open your video, and then click the "..." icon at the bottom.
2. Select "View Insights".
3. Here are your insights, including engagement metrics and audience retention metrics.
How to find videos and channels on IGTV
When you open the IGTV app, you can use the search bar to find videos or channels.
If you're not sure what you're looking for, you can scroll through videos from "accounts you're following", "popular videos", or "recommended for you" videos.
If you're in the Instagram app, you can find someone's IGTV content on their page if they've uploaded videos to IGTV. Look beside an Instagram user's Story Highlights, and you'll see an IGTV circle. If you click the circle, it will bring you to that person or brand's IGTV channel.
Watching Videos on IGTV
As soon as you open the IGTV app, a video will immediately start playing -- presumably with the hope that users will become immersed in the content.
To watch a video, you simply click on it. If you're not interested in watching it anymore, you can scroll up to see other options.
There are four video categories: "For You" "Following" "Popular" and "Continue Watching".
Underneath each category, there's a carousel of videos. Scroll left and right to see your options, and click one you want to watch.
There's also a search bar, if you are interested in watching a specific channel. Additionally, if you're in the Instagram app and looking at someone's page, you might see an IGTV circle beside their Story Highlights. If you click on the IGTV circle, you'll be redirected to that user's IGTV page.
Best IGTV Channels and Brands to Follow
There are a few brands and channels that create particularly impressive and unique content on IGTV. If your business is starting from scratch on IGTV, here are a few channels and brands you'll want to add to your must-watch list for inspiration:
The Daily Show
Top Influencers on IGTV
While IGTV doesn't have nearly the same audience reach as Instagram or YouTube, it can offer unique benefits for its early adopter influencers. For instance, IGTV allows influencers to create long-form content, compared to Instagram Stories. Additionally, IGTV caters to a younger demographic who are interested in watching less-edited, more candid videos on their smartphones.
A few influencers in particular are worth checking out on IGTV. These content creators are using IGTV as a platform to create original content and appeal to a specific audience. If you're looking for influencer inspiration, take a look at videos from these creators:
How to share an IGTV video
Select a video, and swipe down on the video preview image to make the browse menu disappear.
If you want to share within Instagram, click the paper airplane icon at the bottom of the video. Type a name (or create a group) into the search box, click the username, and press "Send". You can also add your own message before sending the video.
If you want to share the IGTV video outside of Instagram, press the three-dot icon at the bottom of the video. Then, select "Copy Link". Now you can paste the link in a text or email to send to friends.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether IGTV offers worthwhile benefits for your business. It's critical you consider your audience's preferences when making a decision -- would they prefer to watch your brand on IGTV, or are they consuming content elsewhere?
If you feel your brand does well in relatively unmarked territory, perhaps you want to give IGTV a try. Get out your camera, record some unedited behind-the-scenes looks at your company, and press "Post". Your audience insights will tell you soon enough whether it's an avenue worth pursuing.
Originally published Sep 17, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019