Lately it feels like every time I update the apps on my phone, I’m bombarded with something new. It feels like as soon as I get used to one update, the developers are rolling out another. While I’m all in favor of progress and innovation, it can get pretty overwhelming when one of the most-used apps of all time hits us with something totally different. I recently opened Instagram to see a new orange icon in the upper right-hand corner of the app. Surprise - another new thing!
Instagram TV (IGTV)
Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, the social networking giant announced that they were releasing a new long-form video app called IGTV featuring full-screen, vertical videos created by the accounts that you follow.
As explained by Instagram:
“We're evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we've learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”
After some research and a little old-fashioned trial and error, I discovered a couple things you need to know about the new IGTV — whether you’re a blogger, brand rep, social media manager, or simply one of the 1 billion active Insta users worldwide.
1. IGTV consists of channels, similar to YouTube channels.
IGTV content does not go into your feed or Instagram Stories. Your IGTV videos are housed in the Highlights section of your home screen and also in your channel in the IGTV app. Now, as an Instagram user, you will have your feed (the grid of photos that never go away), your stories (the live-action snapshots you share for 24 hours), and your channel (keep reading below).
2. Video length depends on the account.
Unlike on the feed, your videos aren’t limited to 60 seconds. This offers lots of flexibility for content creation. For the average Instagram user like myself, videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. For big brands and larger, verified accounts, the time limit goes up to 60 minutes. The wide range of the time limit makes things fun! You can share a quick 20 second video of your puppy’s newest trick, a 5 minute POV comparison from the Red Bull finals at the Women’s UCI Downhill World Cup and even a 6-minute carpool karaoke to the entirety of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Spoilers: I’m not sharing THAT video in this blog post ;)
3. The videos don’t disappear (like they would in your story).
IGTV videos are static which means once they are uploaded, they are there until you delete them. IGTV channels will be similar to creating and growing a YouTube channel rather than an Instagram profile. I believe we will see plenty of experimentation from brands and creators to see what works on this new platform.
4. It doesn’t have to change your Instagram experience.
Whether you use Instagram for travel inspiration, fitness tutorials, something work-related, a way to forget the world and watch cat videos, or just as a way to interact and keep up-to-date with your friends - nothing has to change! IGTV is simply a way to enhance your Instagram experience, not take away from the parts of the app you already love. If you want nothing to do with IGTV, that’s okay! You never have to click on that little orange TV icon and, at least for now, the videos will not infiltrate your usual feed.
5. Uploading a video is easy.
You can access IGTV one of two ways: the aforementioned orange TV icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Instagram app (next to the DM paper airplane) or the stand alone IGTV app which you can download from the Play Store/App Store. While you can watch IGTV videos on the Instagram app, if you want to create your own videos, you will need to download IGTV app (or upload directly from the Instagram web app).
Download the IGTV app.
2. Create your channel.
3. With your IGTV channel set up, it’s time to upload your first video! Start by navigating to your channel by tapping on your avatar from the main screen.
4. Next, tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner to add a video to your channel. Add a video from your phone or desktop (if using the desktop app), include a title and description and you’re set!
There’s no limit to what you can create
At its core, IGTV is super exciting! It’s an amazing way for amateur videographers, cinematographers, vloggers, and tutorialists to create content for the masses. You can choose to create highly edited, produced videos with professional lighting and graphics, or you can simply record your day-to-day life, musings, feelings, and experiences. It’s an exciting time since it’s just beginning, so why not? Get out there — get creating!
Over to you
What do you think about IGTV? Are you excited to create and consume long-form content on Instagram? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.