How to do IGTV: Learn the Basics of Instagram Television

Wondering what IGTV is, why it is and how to use it? Here are all the basics to get you started – including how to upload a video from mobile and web (once that bug is fixed). Check out our video tutorial below plus these tips and things to know (be sure to watch the intro video for IGTV as well), then let us know what YOU think about IGTV. Will you be using it?

Launched last week in San Francisco with an event featuring some of their most popular creators, IGTV (Instagram Television) is the latest innovation by Facebook’s greatest acquisition – Instagram (IG). IG is now 8 yrs old and has a global community of over one billion monthly active users.

IGTV Tutorial

Here are the IGTV Basics so far:

  • What is it?
    • LONGER VIDEO: A new app to watch long-form video. That’s “long-form” by Instagram standards. So videos need to be between 15 seconds to 10 minutes (certain users, if you’re big enough, can do 1 hr long content right now). Previously, the max time limit on IG was 1 minute.
    • VERTICAL VIDEO: Instagram states that IGTV is “built for how you actually use your phone.” So everything now will need to be in portrait mode as opposed to landscape.
  • How does it work?
    • STAND-ALONE APP: IGTV has a separate app that you can download, but it also has an in-app feature as well. You can see that as a separate button on the top right of your screen on your phone or as a button on your profile page once you create your own IGTV channel. (Check out our video / podcast above for easy instructions on how to do that).
    • AUTOMATIC CONTENT: IGTV starts playing automatically as soon as you click on the app. It shows you content from people you already follow on IG and others you might like based on your interests (supposedly), assuming that you don’t want to search for what you want to see. So far, I haven’t seen any content by people I want to see it from – it seems to have pre-loaded content from the influencers and top creatives it featured in its launch party.
    • DISCOVER CONTENT: You can search (which some users have found disappointing so far) or swipe up to discover more content IG thinks you’ll like. You can switch between:
      1. For You
      2. Following
      3. Popular
      4. Continue Watching (where you can continue watching videos you had to leave before)
  • Engagement Like most IG posts and stories, you can like, comment and send videos to friends in DM. You can also interact with friends, fans, etc. right there in the app. See someone’s videos right there, follow them from there, etc.
  • What else should we know?
    1. Anyone can start their own channel (like YouTube). Just upload a video directly through the app or web. You can watch how to upload a video, add a title and description via our latest YouTube video on this (see video above).
    2. You can also put links in the description of videos to drive traffic outside of IG.
    3. Opportunities to monetize IGTV will be coming in the future. (No ads on IGTV yet). Future ad revenue potential for IG: $5.48B in 2018 alone.
    4. To size videos for IGTV, go for 1080 x 1920 (just switch the values in Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or whatever you use to edit videos).
    5. Be sure to check out the launch party video here and let us know what you think!
    6. Why did Instagram do this? They say teens are watching 40% less TV and are instead watching more creators online. The number of creators has grown exponentially (it’s now reached 100s of millions of followers according to Kevin – co-Founder of IG). On the IG platform, people watched 60% more video in the past year. So Kevin feels how we watch and what we watch is changing quickly. IGTV is their answer to this.

IGTV Launch Messaging:

  • “Mobile-first” – built with your phone in mind. They want people to love vertical video.
  • Simple: do one thing and one thing really will (saying at IG). Intuitive to use.
  • Quality: the BEST videos, not just all of them. Swipe around to check out creator’s channels (discovery).

Content Strategy for IGTV: What are people planning for their IGTV channels? Here are some of IG’s best content creator’s plans so far for IGTV.

@brycexavier – motivational tips, random thoughts, etc.

@lelepons – comedy skits, dance videos, etc. Over 25M (biggest influencer on IG). Perfected the 1min sketch. More time: more comedy to come. Starting her own cooking show. Friends competing to see what dish is the best, she decides at the end. Sneak peek of new episode she did. “What’s cooking with Lele Pons”

IGTV Timeline:

2010: square photos and filters

2013: launched video (5 yrs ago)

2016: launched stories (100s of Ms share stories)

2018: long form, vertical video from the creators you love. Mobile-first, simple, quality.