What is IGTV and how to use it?


Instagram has released a dedicated application for sharing longer videos, called the IGTV. The IGTV will bring long-form, vertical videos from all the Instagram users to a single hub. The videos on IGTV is easy to view and share from the simple and easy to use IGTV app. The features of the app can also be accessed through the dedicated IGTV Button in the official Instagram app.

IGTV has a long way to go. Pic credit: Instagram
IGTV has a long way to go. Pic credit: Instagram

What IGTV means to Instagram Users?

We all know it’s the strategy to give equal opportunity to creators of all levels, to make, share and popularize their quality content over the platform is what made Instagram very popular. For IGTV also, Instagram has decided to give a try of the same formula. To focus more on real people, rather than going behind nicely polished stuffs from studios and established businesses.

For the same reason, users of Instagram will get long videos of the favourite personals and businesses they follow on Instagram, and they also get to create and upload videos to share it with friends and family.

What IGTV means to Creators?

The official Instagram app only allows 30-second videos and this limited the opportunity of many creators to share quality video contents to their followers.

But IGTV is sunshine and rainbows for creators as its support long video uploads and enables creators to have more time to communicate with their followers through the platform.

Since the whole persona of IGTV is to make a place for creators to share their unique style of vertical video contents, and since the application is still in its early period, IGTV will enable new creators to easily leverage the newness of the platform to grow. New creators can easily use this advantage to make as many followers as it can before the app itself becomes saturated like YouTube with as many creators.

IGTV: Another YouTube Rival?

It is always better to keep the eggs in different baskets. Many successful YouTube personalities and creators are worried about the consequences of what happens when suddenly YouTube disappears from the Internet?

The main advantage IGTV provide to video creators is that its newness and possibilities can be easily used to garner followers by creating engaging and shareable content.

The followers from the IGTV can be directed to support their fewer know channels in other platforms, like a YouTube channel to diversify their online presence. Already popular YouTube creators can also shout out their presence in the IGTV to keep up in the race. This helps creators to exist on multiple platforms rather than relying only on to one.

What makes IGTV special?

IGTV is backed by more than one billion customers from the Instagram app itself, and this advantage gives it to rise as another popular platform where the creator can easily engage with their followers, and diversify their contents.

At the early stage, the IGTV ensure the immense potential of visibility to creators, and they can leverage the situation to their advantage to grow more followers.

The Diversity of Video Contents in YouTube

IGTV has a long way to go if it wants to rival against YouTube. One of the main advantages YouTube has is the diversity of video contents. As YouTube holds a plethora of video contents ranging from Science fiction to personalized video from a broad range of video creators. While the majority of web celebrities of IGTV focus more on creating contents on subjects like travel, cooking, fitness, beauty, art and music. This creates a limitation of video contents available in IGTV to satisfy the needs of a wide range of users. If IGTV wants to rival YouTube, it must act rightly to facilitate videos from all kind of creators to avoid being stereotyped.

For example, The possibility of how Jordan Peterson lectures which make thousands of viewers on YouTube as well as Atheist Republic and other not-so-mainstream yet cult videos that generate huge views and likes, finds a place in IGTV will be a fun thing to watch.

Now, Let’s take a walk through the IGTV app and its features.

Instagram borrowed the good old Television “noise” feature, thus enabling IGTV app to mimic a television kind of watching experience to its users.

The Welcome screen of IGTV
The Welcome screen of IGTV

The app has some unique features like the ability to swipe up to discover new content and also the flexibility to switch between different categories of the app like — For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching with just a tap. The “search IGTV” option allows users to search their favourite persons and businesses by name.

Categories— For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching
Categories— For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching

The IGTV users are provided with the basic features to engage with videos in the IGTV — the like, comment and share button.


The Video Viewing Screen of IGTV
The Video Viewing Screen of IGTV

The share button allows sharing of videos directly as messages. The three vertical dots when clicked pop up with — Report and Copy Link option. On the far right, there is a rectangular box — “Browse”, when clicked it pop up the category box which can also be accessed by swiping up on the video playing screen.

Instagram has also provided “channels” enabling Video creators to arrange their videos and users to easily search and explore content very easily across the platform. Video Creators can easily arrange their channels, and users can follow these channels to get fresh videos.

How to create IGTV Videos and upload them?

Well, Let’s dive into check how we can create a video through IGTV. Instagram has allowed anyone with an Instagram account to create and upload videos into IGTV.

igtv - video upload screen
IGTV – Video Upload Screen

Users can upload videos taken directly from the smartphones or upload fresh video content from the gallery by clicking on the “ Upload Video” option.

For creators, certain guidelines are to be followed for video uploads.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • All videos must be in vertical format.
  • The long-form video content for IGTV must lie between 15 seconds and 10 minutes for normal accounts.
  • For “verified accounts” and for accounts having huge followers, the upload videos limit is up to 60 minutes long but have to be uploaded from a computer, rather than from the app.
  • Aspect Ratio — Minimum — 4:5, Maximum of 9:16.
  • Maximum File size for videos — for 10 minutes — 650MB (normal users) . for 60 minutes — 5.4GB.
IGTV Guidelines for video uploads
IGTV Guidelines for video uploads

With all these, let’s see how IGTV make traction in the coming days and how creators, as well as users, welcome the new offering from Instagram.

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