What is IGTV?
No doubt you will have seen the new small TV shaped button inside your Insta home screen? If you’re in the 1% that hasn’t, it’s located above stories and next to the direct messages button in the upper right corner.
Let us introduce Instagram TV, or Instagram’s long form video app. IGTV is specifically built for high-quality vertical video, which is no longer limited to one minute. Videos can now be up to an hour long.
Launched earlier this year, IGTV is a new platform for anyone with an Instagram account to create, view or share great video content. You can watch your favourite followers’ videos from the iOS or Android app (available from the App Store and Google Play store). Or for those who don’t want to use the stand-alone IGTV app, the service lives within your main Instagram account too (available through an update).
Now home to an epic one billion global community, Instagram is THE place to connect with people that inspire, educate and entertain. IGTV is popular for those:
Hoping to launch their video career.
Creators not only trying to earn money, but also to grow their audience.
People wanting to keep up with their favourite celebrities.
Learn How IGTV Works in 6 Easy Steps...
1. No More 60 Second Recordings
IGTV allows users to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length, or up to 60 minutes long if you are verified (or popular). That said, in future everyone will be able to upload hour-long videos.
Like TV, IGTV has channels. Yet the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on your Insta account, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. You, me or even your dog can start our own channel and upload videos in the app or on the web. This is not just for big-name celebrities.
2. Vertical and Full Screen Videos
Those genius Instagram designers have built IGTV on how we actually use our phones. IGTV videos are built for vertical video, not horizontal. Furthermore, videos are full screen. So, either set up your shots with this format in mind, or use crafty editing to make a horizontal video look sick when viewed vertically. Even if you try to flip your phone to landscape view, the video will stay vertical.
A simple swipe up means you can switch between ‘For you’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’. We’ll go into more depth on this further down. Like Instagram, there is an option to like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. You can also get callouts from your IGTV to alert you of new content.
3. Link Like a Boss
Do you have an online presence elsewhere? Perhaps you’re an avid Tweeter or YouTuber? Now you have the option to insert links and more info in the video descriptions to drive traffic elsewhere. A simple tap on the video title at the top of the screen will enable this.
Once you’ve uploaded a video to IGTV, you can also link to it in your Instagram Story. When someone views your Story, they can simply swipe up to view the video you’ve linked.
IGTV can also be used as a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your life, with clips that are not shared on other platforms. In addition, you Grammers can take inspiration from popular TV genres and create an on-going video series to showcase your talents.
4. The Mobile TV
Like regular TV, IGTV starts playing when you open the app. No more searching to start watching content from people you already follow or others you ‘might like’ based on your history.
There are no ads in IGTV…. yet. However, we think it’s only a matter of time before they appear due to its big user base attracting advertisers. Instagram has clearly learnt from Facebook’s video flop of not to pay creators direct for videos.
5. Setting The Scene
The settings you use are just as vital as the content you shoot. Don’t forget to turn on the grid in your camera to perfectly frame that shot. If you can, shoot your video in 4K (gives you more freedom when editing). Remember – good lighting makes all the difference. The general rule to follow is that the higher the frame rate, the more light you will need.
When you share a video, IGTV will use the first frame of the video as its cover photo. However, you can edit the cover photo as long as it’s done before you finish your upload. Either choose your own cover photo from your library or select a different video frame.
6. So Let’s Get Started
Because IGTV and Instagram work closely together, you don't have to create a separate IGTV login. As long as you're logged into the main Instagram app, all you need to do is hit "Continue." The app automatically pulls videos it thinks you'll like under the "For You" tab. The video in the background will autoplay, but don't worry about your boss or teacher hearing - the sound defaults to "off."
When you want to check out available videos, just scroll through the tiles along the bottom. Under the "Following" tab, you can watch videos from creators you already follow on the main Instagram app. Under "Popular," you'll see trending videos from people you don't follow.
The "Popular" tab is similar to the "Explore" tab on Instagram, and is Instagram's way of helping you discover new people to follow. When you find a video you want to watch, just tap on the screen to remove the tiles and make your video full screen.
You can also like and comment on people's videos in IGTV. Just tap the heart or comment button at the bottom of the video. Instagram has generously added pre-set emoji reactions. Once tapped your thoughts will post on the creator’s video. If you pause in the middle of a video, IGTV will remember where you left off. You can find the video again under the "Continue Watching" tab.
Once ready to start your own channel, just click on your profile picture. This will take you to your own landing page. If you click the "+" button, you'll be able to start uploading videos to IGTV. As at the time of typing, you can't record a video inside the IGTV app. So you’ll have to rely on your trusty camera roll for now.
However, within Instagram's own IGTV; videos, text and images are overlaid on the video, and it all looks pretty similar to Instagram Stories. Perhaps a hint of what’s to come in the future?
Finally, we wonder if Insta sent a memo to YouTube that went something along these lines:
There’s a new kid on the block.