What is IGTV and how to use it?

What is IGTV and how to use it?

Instagram has a unique ability to take the best from other social networks and adapt to its service, increasing and retaining its audience. So, relatively recently, Instagram has appeared a new function of IGTV, acting as a kind of television within the social network. It can record videos up to 60 minutes long. Most likely, in this way the developers wanted to compete with YouTube. We propose to tell you about what IGTV is, its benefits and possibilities, in this guide. Let’s figure it out.

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What is IGTV on Instagram?

IGTV – Instagram TV, which is a section and an application of the same name that is fully synchronized with the insta profile. It is designed to record and publish long vertical videos. IGTV can be called a kind of video hosting from Instagram, working on the principle of YouTube.

Instagram TV has such a name for a reason – it really resembles a good old TV. But there is a difference – immediately after opening the application, videos that have been selected especially for you begin to play. This favorably distinguishes Instagram TV from YouTube, where before watching you need to decide what to watch, and there are problems with that.

IGTV has four main sections :

  • Recommendations selected by an algorithm based on your interests.
  • Content of users from your list of subscriptions.
  • The most popular videos.
  • Videos you haven’t watched.

You don’t have to go to the IGTV app itself. You can also watch the video directly through Instagram by clicking on the corresponding icon. The web version even has the option to open the video in full screen mode.

Content creators are users themselves, who are referred to here as channels. IGTV is fully synchronized with the profile on the social network. You will be subscribed to the channels of all users, as on Instagram. If you unsubscribe from someone on IGTV, then this action takes place in the Instagram profile.

Notably, there are currently no ads on IGTV . In the future, the developers are going to introduce a reward system for users for published content, and perhaps this innovation will be based on advertising.

How is IGTV different from regular Instagram videos?

At IGTV, Instagram developers strive to change the existing paradigm of social networks, where the feed of subscriptions has always been put in the first place. On IGTV, the algorithmic recommendation feed comes first . It is selected based on your past views and identified interests, and it does not matter if you follow their authors or not. That is, IGTV on Instagram is more viral content. Here you will see videos even from those users who are not subscribed to. If this is not enough, then you can look into the sections with popular videos or watch the content of your favorite channels.

instagram tv

Unlike Stories, IGTV allows users to post more meaningful content as the maximum video length has been increased to 60 minutes . In this case, the video orientation can only be vertical. This is the format that mobile users have become accustomed to for a long time, but it is not very suitable for capturing large-scale events or professional content.

Getting into the “Featured” section or featured videos by users will likely only earn you a lot of views. Subscriptions are a little more complicated here. The Subscribe button is only available on the channel page , and as you know, no one likes to make extra clicks. Therefore, unlike Youtube or videos on the Instagram feed, IGTV is more of a one-off content. Based on this, many do not try to invest in such content.

IGTV engagement is also different. However, so far not for the better. If videos on Instagram get 70-200 thousand likes per 1 million views on average, then on IGTV this figure is lower – only 30-60 thousand. Users and comments leave worse: on average, one video gets 4-10 times fewer comments. Perhaps this is due to the novelty of the format. However, IGTV is a serious competitor. And, it is worth noting that at the beginning no one believed in the Stories format either.

How to create an IGTV channel

Using IGTV is very easy. Not only the mobile version is supported, but also the desktop version, and you can create your own channel both through the Instagram application and through IGTV.

Via Instagram app

If you already have the Instagram application installed and have an account, then you do not need to install anything else. You just need to sync your profile with your IGTV channel. To do this:

  1. Open the Instagram app and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the TV icon.

    как запустить igtv

  3. In the window that opens, click on the gear icon and then select the “Create Channel” option.
  4. Read the introductory text, click Next, and then Create Channel again.

Done! The channel has been created. Now, instead of a gear, you will see a thumbnail of your avatar, and you can add videos to IGTV.

Users can also create a channel or watch IGTV from PC . To do this, go to the appropriate section using the Instagram website.

Via IGTV app

приложение igtv

To create your channel via the standalone IGTV mobile app , you must first install it. You can download the application for free from the official stores Google Play and AppStore.

After installing the application, open it and follow a few more steps to create an account:

  1. Log in to your Instagram profile.
  2. Click on the gear icon that appears next to the search bar.
    Select “Create Channel”.
  3. Read your welcome speech, click Next and confirm the creation of the channel.
  4. The channel has been created and synchronized with your Instagram account, and you can upload and watch videos both from IGTV and from the Instagram website or application.

Please note that only one channel can be created from one account.

Video format for IGTV

IGTV is a completely separate section of Instagram, which has its own content requirements. IGTV video options are as follows :

  • Minimum duration . The video must be at least one minute long.
  • Duration . The maximum video length on IGTV differs depending on the device from which the download is made. If you are using a mobile application, then the maximum video length is 15 minutes. If the download is made from a PC – 1 hour.
  • Size . The maximum video size for IGTV is 5.4 GB.
  • Format . The only supported IGTV format is MP4.
  • Quality . Video resolution must be at least 720p. The frame rate is at least 30 per second.

The Instagram administration also asks to comply with the company’s policy regarding the content of the content, so as not to block accounts or delete videos.

IGTV Cover Size

You can set a cover for each video. The size recommended by the administration is 420 by 654 pixels. Please note that there is currently no option to edit the cover after upload , so you should carefully consider which image will become the “face” of your video.

Video upload

To download a video, you can use a mobile application, a PC, or use delayed posting. The procedure is slightly different depending on which option you choose.

Download video from mobile app:

  1. Open your Instagram or IGTV app.
  2. Click on the “+” sign.
  3. Select a file from the gallery on your device.
  4. Choose a cover for your video. It can be either a picture from a video or a separate image.
  5. Please enter a video title and description.
  6. Select video options. For example, you can add a preview, automatically share the video on Facebook, or upload an excerpt to Instagram.
  7. When ready, click Publish.

как загрузить видео в igtv

How to add video via browser (PC):

  1. Open the Instagram website and log in to your account.
  2. From your profile, go to the IGTV section by clicking on the corresponding icon.
  3. Select the Download button.
  4. Drag and drop or select a file to upload.
  5. Choose a cover for your video, write a short description and adjust the settings.
  6. Save to draft or publish right away.

When the download is complete, the video will appear on your IGTV profile, as well as on your Instagram profile in the Pinned Stories section.

IGTV analytics

Each video has its own statistics. True, frankly speaking, it is rather scarce. From the statistics on the channel, you can only see:

  • views;
  • number of likes and comments;
  • percentage of video views;
  • schedule of audience attention retention.

Of course, this data is not enough for full-fledged analytics, so in the future, Instagram developers will most likely still work on expanding the parameters of IGTV statistics.

It should be noted that on IGTV, viewing is counted only if the user has watched the video for 3 seconds or more. Everything else is not included in the statistics.

Ideas for Instagram TV videos

IGTV offers an interesting format, but it is important not only to adhere to technical recommendations, but also the content of your video, its uniqueness and originality. No one will watch low-quality content that does not have a theme or an interesting idea. Therefore, we have selected the most popular ideas for IGTV commercials :

  • Tutorials . People are always interested to know “How?” How to create something with your own hands, how it works, how it works, and so on. You can review your product, master class, lesson. The video can be either long, with a detailed explanation from a professional, or short: for example, some life hack to music.
  • Funny videos . This type of content will always be interesting to people. This includes short humorous sketches, reactions, pranks, and any other content that gives a good mood. Don’t be afraid to use your products in your videos. For example, capturing people’s reactions to two different products.
  • Interview. People are always interested in watching someone else’s life, learning someone else’s opinion, emotions and mood, so the interview genre does not lose its relevance. In your video, you can invite an expert, a star guest, or ask your clients to answer questions about the company informally and without censorship.
  • Unique category . You can come up with your own unique category and publish it regularly at a specific time. For example, it can be a short author’s series, documentary content, your own show.

Tips and tricks

When working with the IGTV format, take into account some peculiarities and nuances :

  • Be consistent. With IGTV, the posting schedule is also important. Try to release videos regularly so that your audience gets used to receiving quality content from you and comes back for it again and again.
  • Think over the video. plan the video , its storyline, climax and ending in advance. This is the only way you can create really interesting content that has a logical outcome.
  • Be original. Publish exclusive content that can only be viewed on your channel and nowhere else. This will force your fans to follow your IGTV channel.
  • Use links . Under each video, you can add a clickable link to your website, landing page, and other social networks. This is a cool opportunity to promote anything by promoting your IGTV channel.
  • Avoid flashy covers and distracting sound. A distinctive feature of IGTV is that the video is played immediately, but without sound. Consider this when creating content, and do not overload the user from the first seconds with bright intros or repulsive sounds. This can be off-putting.
  • Be real. Sincerity is the main trend of the future. Nobody expects super high quality video, professional editing or grandiose special effects from your video. The main thing is to create interesting content in your corporate style and be yourself.
  • Communicate . Viewers have the opportunity to like and comment on the video. Be sure to respond to comments, ask questions, ask their opinions. They will definitely appreciate your attention.
  • Use hashtags . You can add hashtags to your video description to improve search indexing.
  • Tell about yourself. IGTV is still a novelty, the benefits of which many users have not yet discovered. Of course, the algorithm will promote the new format, but you also remind your subscribers about IGTV and invite them to your channel.
  • When the cover is installed, the top edge of the cover will be cut slightly. Keep this in mind when designing it.
  • Don’t forget about quality and content requirements. Low-quality videos will not be able to be advertised through the target, and viewers will also value quality.


IGTV got its name for a reason. This section really works on the principle of a TV, only the content creators are the users themselves, and the videos are shown on the basis of selected recommendations for each specific user of the social network. Instagram IGTV is a relatively new feature, but should definitely be used to get more reach and attention from the algorithm. And to create high-quality content, you will be helped by the rules that are effective for the entire Instagram – sincerity, quality and regularity of content.

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