A beginner’s guide to IGTV



Instagram has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2010, having officially reached one billion monthly users as of last Wednesday, June 20th

The company marked the occasion at their landmark event in San Francisco by lifting the veil on IGTV. The latest addition to Instagram’s repertoire, IGTV is a video platform built from the ground up to go head to head with industry monolith YouTube. The twist? All videos are full screen and vertical, a move that Instagram says is ‘built for how you actually use your phone’.

IGTV will be rolling out across Android and iOS devices over the next few weeks, so in the meantime, let us help you get clued up on Instagram’s latest video sharing tool.

About IGTV


How do I find IGTV on my phone?

To take a dive into Insta’s long-form video as all you need to do is open your Instagram app and press the TV-shaped button that sits in the top right corner of your screen just above Instagram’s stories.

Don’t have Instagram but want to take a look at IGTV?

Download the standalone IGTV app. Echoing the typical television experience, videos will start to play as soon as the app is opened. A simple swipe left is all that separates viewers from their next video, while swiping up will reveal the three main tabs – ‘For You’, ‘Following’ and ‘Popular’. These tabs are populated with content from various ‘channels’, which will be taking the place of traditional Instagram profiles.

Becoming an IGTV-er

Instagram has made the user experience of IGTV just as welcoming to seasoned professionals as it is to novice videographers. Setting up a channel on the platform is as easy as signing in, clicking the gear icon on the right-hand side of the main page and selecting ‘create channel’.

Uploading your first video

  • Step 1: Click on your avatar or profile image on the IGTV homepage, then click the plus icon in the upper right-hand corner of your new channel.
  • Step 2: Select a video to post from your gallery or camera roll. The video will need to be vertical and can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length.
  • Step 3: Write a stand-out title and description for your video that will make it easier for your audience to find.
  • Step 4: Give your video a cover photo. You are free to either upload your own personalised design or cherry-pick a thumbnail from the video itself.

Unlike its parent, IGTV also allows budding content creators to upload content from their desktops in the same way you would on mobile.

What IGTV means for you

IGTV is the latest addition to a mounting pile of evidence in favour of on-tap digital content, with dwindling numbers of TV loyalists standing in stark contrast to Instagram’s recent one billion user milestone. There is obvious potential for brands to reach a much wider pool of viewers with a new genre of long-form video. In a similar vein to YouTube, links can now be added to video descriptions, allowing businesses to leverage this larger captive audience to drive their web traffic elsewhere.

Channels even enjoy a comprehensive analytics suite right out of the gate, which doesn’t just stop at view counts, likes and comments. Through helpful audience retention stats, creators can see just how long people spend watching their videos and what percentage of viewers make it all the way to the end.

One final thing all of us want to know – will there be adverts?

While no definitive answer has been given yet, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has stated that he wants to keep the platform sustainable by letting creators monetise their content in the future. Which could be hinting at a YouTube-esque system of splitting the revenue on pre, post and mid-roll ads.

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