TV for the mobile generation.

You may have seen Instagram’s latest product release today, Instagram TV (IGTV). As a digital-forward creative agency this type of event matters to us, and we view it as our responsibility to stay on top of the changes and keep our audience in the know. 

We’ve explained the launch a bit more below, but even better than that we’ve compiled some relevant FAQ’s for your benefit.

When Instagram first launched, it was an app that enabled users to filter and share photos. Videos were then added in 2013, allowing Instagram users to share 15-second clips to their feed. Next came 60-second videos, vertical video formats, full-screen live video experiences, and then of course, Stories. Now IGTV, though brand new to all of us, feels somewhat familiar and a next logical step for Instagram.

IGTV is built for how you use your phone already: vertical and full screen. It’s available in both the native Instagram app and the new standalone IGTV app. Now everyone who has an Instagram account can create their own IGTV “channel,” which is where all your IGTV videos will live (separate from your regular Instagram bio and Stories Highlights).

Instagram says this is great for businesses, because “Longer vertical video on Instagram makes it even easier to get closer to your audience and be discovered by new people”. 

To help you navigate the early days of this evolution, we’ve compiled some useful info on the new launch, in the form of Q&A. 

IGTV: Popular Questions

Q: How do people consume content on IGTV?

A: You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the standalone IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification in the native Instagram app.

Q: How does Instagram determine what IGTV channels I see?

A: Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel. And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct.

Q: How long can the videos be?

A: For now, videos can be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts, but Instagram has said that eventually there will be no time limit.

Q: Do the videos disappear like on Insta Stories?

A: No, IGTV has channels. When you download the IGTV app a channel will be affiliated to your Instagram account. Any video you post to IGTV will be stored there (similar to Youtube channels).

Q: Why the focus on vertical video?

A: Vertical video makes it easy for anyone to feel like they can start creating, and naturally encourages you to record on your phone instead of a professional video camera. Vertical video also makes for a better mobile experience, because you don’t have to rotate your phone or watch a smaller version.

Q: So my video content doesn’t have to be high production?

A: Exactly. Instagram is focusing its efforts around web creators that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional TV studios that might come off too polished or 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 pace for what IGTV is about. This is good news for your business, because you don’t have to create a super polished video in order to upload it to IGTV! As far as production quality goes, think of it like a step up from your Instagram Stories, but it doesn’t have to be as perfect or curated like an Instagram post or video would be.

Q: How do I create an IGTV channel?

Step 1: Download the IGTV App
Step 2: Sign in to the IGTV App
Step 3: Click on the settings gear icon in the right hand corner, and then click “create channel”.

Q: Can I have more than one IGTV channel?

A: No, you can only have one IGTV channel per Instagram account. This is because, according to Instagram, “the creators are the channels.” If you follow a creator on IGTV, you will also be following them on Instagram, and vice versa.

Q: How do I upload video content to IGTV?

A: Like any other social media content you can upload from your phone. However, with IGTV you can also upload video from your desktop (and IGTV will generate a unique url link for the video).

Q: What video types are supported on IGTV?

A: 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).

Q: What constitutes a “view” on IGTV?

A: According to Instagram, a “view” on IGTV is the number of times people watched at least 3 seconds of your video.

Q: Will there be ads on IGTV? Can we advertise to our audience?

A: Not yet, for now Instagram is focused on building engagement on the new platform. But ads will likely be on the way soon, and with longer-form content we may also see Instagram experiment with new ad types such as pre and mid-roll ads.