It’s been only a week and IGTV has already shaken up social media: influencers, publications and brands alike. IGTV is Instagram’s brand new video platform and is looking to take other video platforms by storm.

IGTV is a place for vertical, long-form videos on Instagram (between 10mins and 1 hour at the time of this article), and it’s available in both the native Instagram app and the standalone IGTV app.

IGTV is Instagram’s (already pretty successful) attempt to take over the video mobile scene, looking to target Snapchat and YouTube alike. Bold move from the Gram? Not really, as it’s accounted that, by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.

Some speculate Stories were just a way to test the potential release of IGTV – either way, being on IGTV could prove to be incredibly efficient for you for so many reasons.

If you are looking to get started with IGTV, here’s a few things for you to remember:

  1. The videos are vertical, which makes loads of sense for a mobile TV.
  2. You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile.
  3. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification on Instagram.
  4. You can share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct.
  5. If someone follows you on IGTV, they’ll be following your regular Instagram account too.
  6. You can add in links to your videos. That’s right, people will actually be able to click on links in your description and be taken outside of the Instagram or IGTV app.

About the IGTV app

Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel, just like you can with Instagram Stories.

There are also no ads — yet. But it seems there will be, as Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press conferecne after the launch:

“Right now we’re focused on building engagement, but that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.”

Even though you won’t be seeing your favourite TV shows on IGTV, Instagram is trying to make the experience a lot like your telly. On top of your Instagram account, you’ll now have an IGTV channel everyone can access. You can only have one IGTV channel per Instagram account. This is because “the creators are the channels.” (according to Instagram’s announcement.)

You can like or comment on IGTV videos while they’re watching them, as well as swiping right for the next video, and up to search videos or view by category.

You have three type of tabs you can use:

  • “For You” just like the explore page, this is a collection of videos that Instagram thinks you will like based on its algorithm.
  • “Following” this is a collection of videos from all the people you’re following.
  • “Popular” this section features all of the trending videos on IGTV, most likely ranked by popularity

Video editing made easy

We all know mobiles are now making us as resourceful as videographers – and this is such a great thing about IGTV.

Vertical video naturally encourages you to record on your phone, making for a better mobile experience, because you don’t have to rotate your phone or watch a smaller version.

This will require you to adapt the size of the videos to different platforms (such as Facebook), as well as being mindful of the time limit (currently between 10mins for smaller accounts and 1 hour for bigger accounts). IGTV is meant more for following your favorite influencers or vloggers, instead of the Kardashians.

TechCrunch notes: “Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed.”

“The idea is to let these creators, who have a knack for this style of content and who already have sizeable Instagram audiences, set the norms for what IGTV is about.”

IGTV supports 4k vertical videos that are at least 15 seconds long, and can run up to 60 minutes. If you’re wondering what size IGTV videos are, they’re a 16:9 aspect ratio (the same as Instagram Stories)

You’ll save time on production, editing and fancier tools. We use Camtasia to edit the ratio of videos, but iPhone apps like inShoot will work as well.

Create an IGTV Channel and upload your first video:

Sign in to the IGTV App, and click on the settings icon in the right-hand corner, and then click “create channel”. Well, that was easy. Now, it’s time to go to your new channel by clicking on your icon from the main page, then find the plus “+” icon on the right-hand corner. After that, you’ll have to select a vertical video from your camera roll (that is very important, you can simply edit a horizontal video with an editing app if needed).

Time to make it official: write your title and add a description: add in any relevant keywords to your description to make it easier for people to find your videos on IGTV. Oh, and do not forget to add your links. When it comes to your cover, you can upload your own custom cover, or choose a thumbnail from your video. The cover photo is what will show up on your channel page and in the IGTV categories, so make it one that sticks out. After that, just click the post button.

Well done you! You’ve just uploaded your first video to your IGTV channel.

We recommend you look at creating consistent branding for your videos – may that be covers or specific look and feel: branding increases revenue by up to 23 percent and overall brand recognition by three to four times.

Use your existing content to inform your new marketing initiatives on IGTV so that your mission and message doesn’t confuse your audience: if you have always been focusing on low-key and behind the scene content, you want to keep that consistent feeling.

Analytics and scheduling content

As you map out your social media editorial calendar, you’ll be able to better promote important events, products or services around important dates, plus sticking to a schedule will help your followers know when they can expect new content and better encourage them to engage with your brand.

In order to track performance, you can also check and reply to the comments on your post and track your IGTV analytics.

Click on the “…” button and select “View Insights”. When you click on “View Insights” you’ll be able to see your views, likes, comments as well as audience retention rate (how many people watched your video all the way to the end). According to Instagram, a “view” on IGTV is the number of times people watched at least 3 seconds of your video.