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?). Also, a Cisco report estimates that, by 2022, watching video will account for 82% of internet traffic.
There are various channels for marketers to consider when sharing videos, like the above-mentioned YouTube and TikTok or Snapchat. There’s also Instagram TV (IGTV) which, launched in 2018, is different from Instagram Stories.
What is IGTV?
IGTV is Instagram’s video feature that allows creators to make and share long-form video content with their audience.
Additionally, IGTV is primarily meant for smartphones, as the videos are vertical, and users don’t need to rotate their devices to watch. If you're interested in testing out the app for your own business or simply want to know which brands to follow on the app, 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?
You can access IGTV directly within the native Instagram app. Simply launch your profile, navigate to the Explore tab, and select IGTV from the carousel menu.
There is also a standalone IGTV app that you can download from the app store. To get it, simply go to the App Store or Google Play, search for IGTV, and click Get or Install.
IGTV Video Length
Anyone with an Instagram account can upload an IGTV video.
Unlike Instagram Stories' 15-second video limit, IGTV videos can be up to 15 minutes long when uploaded from a mobile device and 60 minutes when uploaded from the web.
How do you make an IGTV channel?
To make an IGTV channel, you need to download the IGTV app and sign in with your Instagram account login info. Next, select the Settings gear icon (next to your account profile photo), and click Create Channel.
How To Make IGTV Videos
To upload and edit your IGTV video title and description, follow these steps:
1.Open the IGTV app and click on your profile icon. Then, click Upload Video. If you haven’t yet given permission, you will be asked to allow IGTV access to your video library.
2. Select the video you want to upload.
3. Click Next in the top right-hand corner.
4. Add your preferred video title and description, and edit the cover image, which users will see before the video begins playing.
5. Click Post to publish your video.
You can also upload a video to IGTV from the native Instagram app. Here are the steps:
1. Navigate to your profile and select the plus sign icon on the top right-hand side of the screen.
2. When the Create menu pops up, select IGTV video.
3. Select the video you want to upload, choose your preferred cover, and add a title and description.
4. Click Post to IGTV.
IGTV provides the following in-app analytic insights for your videos: views, likes, comments, average percentage watched, reach, saves, and interactions.
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. The IGTV Video Insights menu should appear and contain your audience analytics info. As this video is just a test, there is no analytics data for the video.
How To Find Videos and Channels On IGTV
- When you open the IGTV app, you can use the search bar to find videos and channels.
- If you’re unsure what you’re looking for, you can scroll through suggested videos based on accounts you’re following, popular videos, or videos recommended for you based on your account activity.
- In the Instagram app, you can find someone's IGTV by navigating to their profile page. Above their image gallery, you should see the IGTV icon. If you click it, it will bring you to the person or brand’s IGTV channel.
The image below displays the IGTV channel preview from popular internet show The Daily Show.
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, 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. You can scroll left and right to view your options and select the one you want to watch. As mentioned above, you can also use the search bar to search for channels you’re already familiar with or to see if someone you’re interested in has a channel.
To watch an IGTV video within the Instagram app, navigate to a user’s profile, select the IGTV icon, and pick the video you want to watch.
Best IGTV Channels and Brands to Follow
There are hundreds of brands and channels that create impressive and unique IGTV content. If your business is starting from scratch and looking for inspiration, here are a few channels and brands you’ll want to check out:
- The Daily Show
- National Geographic
- Food Network
Top Influencers on IGTV
While IGTV doesn’t have the same audience reach as Instagram or YouTube, it is still a worthwhile platform to use to reach your audience members, especially if they don’t use other video sharing apps you’re on like TikTok, Snapchat, or YouTube.
Below is a list of IGTV content creators using the platform to create content that appeals to their specific niche.
- Hannah Stocking
- Huda Kattan
- David Chang
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 valuable benefits for your business. It's critical you consider your audience's preferences when deciding — 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.