Instagram has introduced long-form videos in the form of IGTV (Instagram TV). While you could post videos on Instagram earlier as well, it was limited to just 15 seconds for most users. Now with IGTV, you can upload videos up to 10 minutes in duration (one hour for select accounts).
IGTV is available as a standalone app as well as within the regular Instagram app. IGTV videos are vertical which means you can easily create and consume them on mobile. With Instagram hitting a billion users, this looks like the next big thing for the Facebook-owned mobile platform.
The IGTV app is available as a free download on both Android and iOS. Once you download the app, you'll need to sign in using your Instagram account. After signing in, you'll start seeing a curated timeline of videos from people you already follow on Instagram.
You can search for videos, browse videos from users you're following, see popular videos, and even continue watching videos you may have left earlier. Once you start watching videos you can swipe the screen left or right to navigate through videos, like flipping through TV channels. The app is designed to ensure you spend a lot of time watching videos.
IGTV feels like a natural extension of your existing Instagram experience. Some users may prefer to stick to the regular Instagram app to enjoy IGTV content, given how the entire functionality is already baked in. IGTV will offer content creators a new platform to experiment with. Vertical videos are easy to shoot and share, and great to consume on mobile devices.
We understand you may have a few questions about how everything works and today we'd like to answer as many of them as possible. Here it goes.
What exactly is IGTV (Instagram TV)?
In simple terms, IGTV is a new app built for long-form videos in the vertical format. It is created as a separate product even though it's still available within the main Instagram app. You don't need to download the IGTV app to enjoy all these new features, although it would be better to use a separate app in the long term.
How is it different from other video apps and services?
IGTV will eventually compete with other major video platforms, like YouTube, but for now, it is a whole new platform within a platform. It is meant for vertical videos only and those videos can be up to 10 minutes (one hour for select users). You can easily shoot a vertical video on your mobile phone, upload it, and share it. The app itself is extremely user-friendly and you won't need any expensive equipment to make your videos.
How are IGTV videos different from Instagram Stories or regular Instagram videos?
You're probably wondering why all of a sudden there's a whole new way to create and share videos and what about other ways to post videos on Instagram. For starters, you can still use Stories and regular 15-second videos on Instagram. Stories are meant for content you want to put out very quickly, and you don't want it to stay for a longer time. Most people still feel the 15-second video limit on Instagram wasn't enough to express themselves.
Long form videos on IGTV feel like having a mini YouTube app within your circle of friends and community on Instagram. For longer, more serious videos, you can use IGTV to create and share such videos. As of now, IGTV doesn't let you add filters or goofy face masks to your videos so it's safe to assume it's meant purely for proper videos.
How can I start using IGTV?
It's fairly simple. If you've recently updated the Instagram app on your mobile phone, you probably already have the feature. Just tap on the little TV icon on the top right-hand side and you'll be welcomed by an old school TV snow effect. You can also download the standalone IGTV app on your Android or iOS smartphone. You'll need to sign in using your Instagram account.
Once you're in the app, the navigation is pretty straightforward. The app is designed to keep you hooked so you'll find yourself switching videos, browsing popular content, and maybe even uploading your own videos.
For now, the IGTV app doesn't come with a camera functionality. This means you'll need to give the app access to your existing video library to upload videos. Uploading videos is quite simple. Just click on the plus icon on the right, select a video, assign a title and description, and you're done. You can also cross-post videos to your Facebook page.
Can I create my own channel on IGTV?
You sure can. IGTV lets you create your own channel. Simply tap on your profile photo and select create my channel. Give your channel a name and you're done. Instagram has over a billion users and it's still growing quite rapidly. You may want to start early, and who knows you may end up becoming an 'IGTV star’ soon!
Can I make money by posting videos on IGTV?
IGTV doesn't have any ads right now. But it's not going to stay that way. Once the platform grows you can expect ads, and probably even programs for creators. Until that happens, you may want to start posting content and create an audience.