Instagram is taking video to a new level with IGTV, a new standalone app for long-form vertical videos. IGTV builds on the success of Instagram Stories and other video features, which have helped Instagram grow to over a billion monthly active users. Here’s a summary of how IGTV works and tips on how to use it.
IGTV adapts television for a mobile generation
Touted as competition for YouTube, IGTV offers a new way for creators to deliver more in-depth content. Previously, videos on Instagram needed to be 60 seconds or less. That meant users needed to break up long videos into shorter segments and share them in multiple-image posts, as we described in our article on Instagram carousel posts. On IGTV, creators can share videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Select users — including National Geographic — can post videos up to an hour long.
In addition to the new app, which is being rolled out over the next few weeks, long-form vertical video is also available to all Instagram users. Just tap on the tab in the top right corner of the Instagram app.
Like regular television, video will start to play as soon as you open the app. And with IGTV, creators will be the channels. This means if you follow someone who creates content for IGTV, their channel will be available for you to watch. Users can swipe up to search for more content, swapping between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching.”
You can create your own channel on IGTV in the app, which uses the same privacy settings as your regular Instagram account. After you create your channel, you can upload pre-recorded videos from the mobile app or from your computer’s web browser. As you populate your channel, the videos will show up as thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen.
You can use Instagram’s insights to see the audience retention graph and the average percent watched by viewers. Other metrics, like the number of likes and views, will be visible for everyone, just like regular Instagram feed.
IGTV reflects the changing taste in video
Instagram’s move to long-form video is no surprise. As traditional TV viewing declines, the popularity of social media video continues to grow. Facebook, which owns Instagram, started experimenting with video formats last year. Its research showed that vertical video outperformed horizontal and square video. It also showed that people preferred large format vertical video, and they were more likely to spend time watching large vertical video with the sound on.
And, as Tech Crunch reported before the official IGTV launch, Instagram’s approach to curating recommendations will make it easy for users to find quality content. This can be hard to do on YouTube, creating an opportunity for Instagram to fill a gap in the market.
Are you ready to create your own IGTV channel? Tell us about your plans in the comments below! Not sure where to start with video? Check out our post on these must-try social media tactics for 2018. Also, review our tips on how to create social media videos without appearing on camera.
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