What Is Instagram TV (IGTV) & How Does It Work?

Instagram TV (IGTV) is one of the strongest bets of this social network, launched to celebrate that it has reached 1 billion users (Statista, January 2020). With it, Instagram aims to expand the possibilities to create and share videos and, over time, position itself as an alternative to YouTube. Is it so?

For brands, Instagram TV is a good opportunity to expand their presence on this network and strengthen their content marketing. Therefore, in this article we are going to see what IGTV is, how it works, explanation-tutorial to upload a video step by step, how to monetize your videos and what it can bring to advertisers on Instagram Ads and content creators.

What Is Instagram TV?

Instagram TV is a kind of television channel integrated into the social network, where users can consume video content created by others. It can be accessed from the Instagram application itself (by clicking on the new icon that appears next to direct messages) or through a separate application that has been created exclusively for IGTV. To understand us, it would be something like Facebook and Facebook Messenger: they are different but complementary applications and one is integrated into the other.

Until now, we could upload videos of up to 15 seconds to Instagram Stories and up to 60 seconds to our feed. With Instagram TV, this limit is extended: all users can upload videos of between 15 seconds and 10 minutes, while the most popular channels will be able to broadcast videos of up to an hour in length.

Unlike what happened with the Stories, these videos are not ephemeral, but remain on the user’s channel and can accumulate visits over time. The possibility of broadcasting live is not offered either, but rather it is previously recorded and edited videos.

The format remains vertical (to better adapt to mobiles) and is displayed in full screen. Another peculiarity is that the app starts playing videos as soon as we enter, as if it were a real television, without the need to do a previous search like on YouTube.

Instagram TV combines the possibility of watching the videos of the users that we already follow with that of discovering new content. Within the application, we can find these four categories:

For you: personalized recommendations based on the interests of each user.

Following: videos of the users you follow.

Popular: The videos with the most views and interactions on Instagram TV.

Keep watching: To retake a video that you left halfway (a very smart strategy to encourage full views, since online videos generally have a very high dropout rate).

How Does Instagram TV Work?

Creating your own account on Instagram TV and starting to publish videos is very simple. You just have to follow these steps:

  • Download the IGTV app.
  • Sign up and log in. If you already have a session open on Instagram, it will automatically recognize you, so you can skip this step.
  • Click the settings icon (right corner) and then “Create channel”.
  • To start posting videos, log into your account and click the “+” icon in the right corner.
  • Choose a video from your mobile gallery (remember that it has to be in vertical format).
  • Add the title, description and a link to an external page. If you are using IGTV for your brand, this is an aspect that you must carefully optimize so that users find you and to be able to direct them to your page or other sites that interest you.
  • Create a thumbnail image for your video. In this way, you will control the image displayed and your channel will look better.
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