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IGTV – What You Need To Know

This June, Instagram has announced its new platform for longer videos (up to an hour long.) IGTV is something like a social-media based TV and has summoned rivalry of YouTube. The videos are vertical and take up the entire screen of your smartphone, just like Instagram Stories. You can access IGTV within the Instagram app or via the IGTV app.

Now, we understand that this feature is new to many of you out there and that you’d like to know what’s going on.

What is IGTV?

Instagram wanted to take the traditional video-watching experience and update it to improve our mobile experience. In 2008, the average mobile usage was 0.3 hours per day, while last year, research showed that it tops 3.3 hours. The time teenagers spend watching TV has decreased 40% since YouTube gained massive popularity. It is expected that mobile video will take 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021, and Instagram has come to take the lead.

However, unlike YouTube videos, IGTV videos are vertical (so to fit on the mobile platform) and can be watched by clicking the IGTV button on an Instagram profile, in the IGTV app, or in the Instagram app.

Vertical Videos Only

Technically, you can upload a horizontal one, but that won’t make for the best mobile experience. On IGTV, it’s all about the vertical video because they make it easy for people to start creating and streaming their video content without the pressure to produce professional videos with an expensive recording camera.

And because videos are watched on mobile, users don’t have to rotate their phone. In social media marketing, video format has become super important, so IGTV went a step further to make long streaming videos accessible to everyone.

Another Kind of Mobile Experience

Anyone with an Instagram account can create an IGTV channel. The video automatically starts playing when you open the app, like when you turn on the TV. Viewers can comment or like while watching, and move on to the next video if they get bored. Also, users can swipe up to search videos, and view them by categories:

Popular. Trending videos on IGTV ranked by popularity.

Following. Videos from people that you’re already following.

For You. Videos that Instagram thinks you might like, made up from Instagram’s machine learning and people you follow.

Perfect for Influencers

IGTV doesn’t want super-produced and polished videos! That’s excellent news for influencers, vloggers, and other marketers. And with an hour at their disposal, we can only guess what they will think of and post in the near future. IGTV videos can be shot with a phone, edited with a simple video editing tool, and it’s ready to go. Many influencers are already talking to their audience in real-time via Instagram Live Video and IGTV.

Finding Accounts to Follow

Instagram users can switch between the accounts they already follow, accounts that are popular, and accounts that Instagram’s algorithm suggests (based on their viewing activity.) We will also be able to access the IGTV content of other users from their Instagram bio section.

How Do I Create an IGTV Channel and Upload Videos?

It’s quite easy. First, sign in to the IGTV app, click on the Settings icon (right-hand corner), and then Create Channel. IGTV was made to be easy to use.

To upload videos, go to your channel and click the “+” icon to add a new video. Click on a vertical video from your phone, and write a title and description. To make your videos easy to find, add some relevant keywords. Upload your cover photo (you can choose between a custom cover or a thumbnail from a video) which will show up in the IGTV categories and on your channel page. Finally, click on Post, and you’re done.

What’s left is to track your IGTV analytics to see your likes, comments, and views. Tap the “…” button (beside the share, like, and comment buttons), and then View Insights.

What we’ve realized so far is that it’s excellent for brands and influencers because it makes creating and sharing video content so easy. It’s left to see whether social-media TV will gain traction and become the new standard for live video.

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