IGTV is one of many exciting features Instagram has rolled out over the last few years. But it’s still pretty misunderstood. Nobody seems to know exactly what IGTV is, how to use it, or how to get started with an IGTV channel. 

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide. Here’s everything you need to know about IGTV! 

What is IGTV? 

If Insta stories are Instagram’s answer to Snapchat, then IGTV is Instagram’s answer to Youtube. “Instagram TV” exists as a place to host long form video content on Instagram. While users can post videos to Instagram, they are on a 2-minute limit. No more! Now verified users can upload videos between 15 seconds and 60 minutes long to IGTV for their followers to enjoy.  If your account isn’t verified, then you can upload up to 10 minutes of footage. Which is still pretty good compared to the one minute maximum on an Instagram profile. 

Instagram itself has said they eventually intend to remove the time limit altogether – great news for Insta videographers! It also supports both horizontal and vertical content. IGTV is hosted both natively within Instagram and has its own standalone app. Basically, if Instagram is your favorite way to create or consume content, IGTV is your answer.


How to Watch IGTV

There are a few different ways to engage with Instagram’s new feature. When you click on the IGTV tab in your native Instagram app, it functions a lot like the explore page.  Videos are curated for you based on your interests and who you follow. There’s also a “popular” channel where you can watch the latest trending videos. IGTV also differs from other Insta content in the fact that it’s not focused on advertising. While brands are making use of the feature, the primary goal of Instagram TV is just to get people engaged.

If you’re in the native Instagram app, just click here: 

If you’re in the standalone app, click on that. You’ll be taken to your IGTV “home page” where you can scroll the videos selected for you until your heart desires. 

What Qualifies as IGTV?

Now we’ve answered the question “What is IGTV?”, let’s talk about the specifics. Instagram TV differs from the videos hosted on people’s profiles in a few significant ways. Because Instagram wants to promote long-form content, IGTV has different specs from any videos posted on your profile. For your video to be posted on IGTV, it must be: 

  1. At least 15 seconds long and no more than 10 minutes (60 minutes for verified accounts)
  2. In .mp4 file format
  3. Under 650 MB for regular accounts or 5.4 GB for verified accounts
  4. Adhere to Instagram’s community guidelines. 

If you don’t want to read through all of Instagram’s guidelines, here’s the basic run-down: Only post content that belongs to you. No regrams are allowed on IGTV. Make sure your content is suitable for a diverse audience, and be wary that you aren’t sharing anything too graphic or something that may be potentially upsetting. Be respectful, and you’re good to go.

How to Set Up Your IGTV Channel 

IGTV is a fantastic little invention, but you probably have no idea how to get started on it. That’s no problem. Want to set up your IGTV channel? Good news! It’s super easy. Just follow these steps to get started with your IGTV channel: 

  1. Sign into the IGTV app. 
  2. Click on the plus Icon in the top right corner and allow Instagram access to your videos.
  3. Post!

All finished! Now that was easy. If you’re posting from within the native app, you don’t even have to create a channel. Just click on the IGTV icon, then click on the plus icon in the top righthand corner.

Choose whichever video you want to upload. You’re good to go! 

Ideas for Your First IGTV Video

Now that you’ve got your channel set up, it’s time to start posting. If you’re not 100% sure what you want your IGTV channel to focus on, don’t worry. You’ve got time to figure it out. In the meantime, here are some ideas for what to post as your first IGTV video. 

  1. A short test

Before you start officially uploading IGTV videos, play around with the settings first. If you’ve got a smaller audience, you can have some fun with this. Part of using a new invention is getting familiar with it. Just be honest that you’re getting used to it and seeing how it works! Try out a few different formats and styles of content to see what feels best to you. 

2. A channel introduction 

Remember that IGTV functions a lot like the explore page, which means there’s a fair chance people who don’t follow you will come across your video. Why not use a video to introduce your channel and show off your unique style. If you’ve already got a coherent #brand going, use IGTV to showcase what you do – maybe even show off some behind-the-scenes action. 

3, Your most impressive videography

If your Instagram is related to a video-heavy field like travel or sports, take that amazing footage you’ve been sitting on and turn it into an amazing, stylish IGTV video. Now is the chance to really showcase all the things the time limit of posts and stories can’t let you post. Whether it’s incredible drone footage or an action shot of catching a huge wave, take it to IGTV and watch the followers pour in!

4. Get music involved. 

There’s no better way to make a video engaging and cool than by editing to a great beat. Make your first IGTV video fun not only for you but your followers by using great tunes to spice it up. Use an app like Videoshop or Prequel to You can even make your own music video. Just make sure to check copyright rules first. 

5. Play around with editing.

A boring video can be taken to the next level through interesting editing. Mix it up, find your style. Play with color, sound, and cut! If you’re new to editing videos, there are a number of Instagram video editors like Videomotion and Lomotif just waiting for you.  IGTV is your place to get creative, so get creative! 

6. Let your style shine 

No matter what you end up doing on IGTV, get comfortable with it by expressing your own unique style and personality. Don’t be too worried about sticking to a particular color palette or brand aesthetic at first. If you want IGTV to be a bit of a departure from your page and stories, go for it. It’s your place to express yourself as fully as possible. 

Use IGTV

IGTV is just the latest in a string of features that makes Instagram an all-around more encompassing place for creatives. Although videography can be intimidating, IGTV makes it extremely easy to get started. Creating a channel is as easy as clicking a button, and you can upload either from cameras or straight from your phone

The specs are straightforward, too. Before you post, play around with editing and adding music to make your video really “you.” Remember you’ll be attracting people who almost certainly don’t follow you, so don’t forget to introduce yourself. Now go forth and post – experience all that IGTV has to offer you.