Just a few months ago, Instagram officially launched IGTV. This brand-new, shiny longform video app gives creators the ability to publish content that is up to an hour in length, instead of just a few seconds.
Before the launch, Instagram story videos were capped at 15 seconds; main feed videos were capped at around one minute. That’s an incredibly small amount of time to tell your story, even in Influencer marketing. In this post, we’ll tell you a bit about IGTV, how it works, and what you need to know to make it work for you.
1. How to Access IGTV Content
Instagram users will have two options for accessing IGTV content. The IGTV app itself will give users immediate access to the video content for anyone they already follow with just the click of a button. If someone prefers to continue using the regular Instagram app, they will have to navigate to a separate section of the app to see IGTV video; it will not show in the regular feed.
2. Anyone Can Create a Channel
Unlike other social platforms with specialized features for longform content, Instagram has stipulated that anyone with an account can create an IGTV channel. They act similar in nature to YouTube channels, so subscribers to your Instagram content will see your IGTV content in their feeds as described above.
Channels give users other features that aren’t as common on Instagram. Anyone with a channel can post a link to their website landing page. They can also still include captions to entice people to watch content, which may benefit businesses working on SEO campaigns.
3. You Aren’t Limited to Square Videos
One of the fun features about IGTV is that you have more screen space to use, as the new platform is moving away from the square-only format. If you hold your phone vertically for video, you will now be able to use the entire screen. According to Social Media Today, up to 80 percent of social media users are on mobile devices. This particular format caters to the way mobile users most often use video creation tools.
4. All IGTV Videos are Pre-produced
Users can’t go LIVE with IGTV, which means channels will be able to get very creative with editing before uploading their content. Add a filter, toss on overlays – the sky’s the limit if you have enough ideas. Instagram announced during the official launch that they will, most likely, have a LIVE option in the future.
It is very easy to upload content to IGTV. All you have to do is go to your channel profile and hit the “upload a video” option. You’ll be immediately taken to your camera roll where you can upload videos, add titles and descriptions (including hashtags), and publish.
5. IGTV Content Length is Limited
While we mentioned earlier that IGTV content can go up to 60 minutes, not all users have access to this length for publication. As a matter of fact, the average user with a relatively small following will have to keep videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes – still a massive improvement on the earlier noted 60 second limit.
Larger brands and accounts that are verified, such as those for public figures and celebrities, will be allowed to publish content up to 60 minutes long. This length is perfect for web series and regular shows, and just right for specials, too. Longer content will need to be uploaded from a computer instead of from a mobile device.
The time limit leaves a lot of room for creativity and variety in your content types. You can still upload very short clips, but you can expand your content when you have more to say or show, too. This will also make it easier to schedule content you have time to create.
6. Aspect Ratio and Size
All IGTV videos must follow guidelines for file type, aspect ratio, and size. Videos should be uploaded in MP4 format, regardless of the format you used when you created the video. If your device does not record in MP4, you will have to convert it before you upload.
As mentioned, all videos must be vertical. Landscape videos just don’t work on IGTV. The minimum aspect ratio is 4:5 and the maximum is 9:16.
File size is important. Videos that are 10 minutes or under can be no larger than 650MB. Videos up to 60 minutes can be no larger than 5.4GB. That said, this is a fairly generous range and you shouldn’t have any problems.
7. Your IGTV Videos are Permanent
Instagram story videos disappear from your feed after 24 hours. IGTV videos are here to stay. Once you upload them, they will remain a part of your channel until you opt to delete them.
What does this mean? Essentially, you can still upload short bites of content to your stories, but you now have the option to leave even your shorter content as a permanent part of your collection. Moreover, you can grow that collection over time.
8. Using Stories to Share Your Content
Many Instagram users were using several short stories in a row, pieced together one after the other, to get around the short video length. The longer IGTV format will keep users from misusing that particular part of the platform.
At the same time, creators can still use stories to promote their IGTV content by simply including a swipe-up link in the story post. This feature will be great for driving more viewers to the new platform from outside sources and inside users.
9. Using IGTV for Promotional Videos
It’ll be up to you to experiment with your brand’s page, but IGTV seems to be more along the lines of YouTube: a great place for evergreen content, but perhaps not as great for promotional videos. Since a lot of users don’t yet know about or find themselves using IGTV, your short promotional videos may still do better in the traditional IG feed. Experiment with your brand’s content to figure out where it does best.
10. There Are No Limits – Other Than Instagram’s Community Guidelines
IGTV really does give amateur video creators, vloggers, and anyone with a camera a lot of leeway when it comes to creativity in creating tutorials, documenting life, or branding their businesses. The only limitations thus far are those already outlined in Instagram’s Community Guidelines. As long as you continue to follow Instagram’s rules, you can create as much video content as you feel your audience would like to see.
The IGTV app is still new and exciting. You still have a chance to get in on the ground floor, add to your following, and grow from the ground up. Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. We can’t wait to hear how you’re utilizing this new tool.