Admittedly, when the little orange icon first appeared in the top corner of my Instagram feed, I was a little unsure of what purpose it had or how I was going to use it. My first thought was ‘who goes on Instagram to watch 60 minute videos?’. Well, me, as it turns out. And no, not only because I can now watch Doug the Pug for a full hour (although that is definitely what I will be using it for).
Here’s our take on what is it and how to use it:
So what is IGTV?
IGTV is Instagram’s latest feature whereby users can upload videos up to 60 minutes long. It can be used on Instagram or on its IGTV standalone app.
After being first introduced by Snapchat, then adopted by Instagram stories, IGTV videos will be full screen and vertical; which makes a lot more sense as it runs primarily for smartphones. That’s right, no more tilting your phone and having the screen flip from side to side!
IGTV isn’t a place to catch-up on Monday night’s Corrie episode. As more and more people are ditching the TV for digital content, the purpose of this feature is to follow your favourite brands, vloggers and influencers (they are the channels) through long-form videos; similar to social competitor YouTube. Currently, YouTube has twice the monthly users as Instagram but with Instagram’s rapid growth and development of new features, it is safe to say that Insta is the biggest threat to YouTube in recent times.
Instagram has just hit the 1 billion users mark. Ok, cool. Now if that’s not enough to get you ‘gramming straight away, by 2021, mobile video will account for around 78% of the total mobile data traffic. So not only are social media users growing at a swift pace, so is the demand for video content. Since the massive 127% increase of teenagers watching videos from their smartphones between 2014 and 2015, Instagram has been expanding their time limits for video; from 15 seconds to 60 seconds on Instagram posts to the now 60 minute limit set by IGTV.
How to use IGTV to share business stories
Although Instagram and IGTV are 2 separate apps, setting up an IGTV channel is easy. If you’re logged onto your Instagram account, it will be pulled through to IGTV and you can set up a channel in a few simple clicks by following the instructions on the screen.
Following Instagram’s algorithm, it will show you videos that you are most likely going to like and engage with. These videos will play automatically when you click onto the IGTV icon or app but the sound will be off so don’t worry about bursting your eardrum, or accidentally clicking onto the video of that pimple-popping tutorial whilst on the train.
Titles of videos will appear at the bottom of the screen when you first go onto the app, which you can sieve through and find what you want to watch. There are also categories: For You, Following, Popular, Continue Watching. For You: videos that Instagram think you will like. Following: videos from channels that you are already following on your Instagram account. Popular: the most popular videos being watched on Instagram. Continue Watching: if you pause a video, you’ll be able to continue where you left off.
Ah, pyjamas on, earphones in, snacks out… You’re ready to watch your first IGTV video. To get rid of the tabs and categories at the bottom, click on the screen. This will allow your video to go to full screen.
Channels have the option to add more written information to their videos as well as links. To view these, simply click on the title of the video which is at the top of the screen. From there, a drop down will appear with the information and links for you to read or click.
Like what you’re watching? Tell them! Just like a normal Instagram post, you can like and comment on videos on IGTV – click either the heart or comment button at the bottom of the screen.
IGTV is for everyone. Vloggers, celebrities and everyday Instagram users can watch and upload videos. However, it is worth noting that only large and verified accounts can share videos up to 60 minutes long. Smaller accounts have a limit of 10 minutes at the moment but there has been hints that there will be no time limit in the future.