In June, Instagram launched their new video feature, Instagram TV. We have been able to upload videos to Instagram for a while now but with IGTV these videos are no longer limited to 60 seconds. Using the new feature we can upload videos up to an hour in length!
IGTV is fairly simple to set up. You can do this from your phone via the IGTV app or even on desktop, which is unusual for Instagram but helpful if you are uploading videos from high quality editors such as Premiere Pro.
To upload using your phone: Download the IGTV app, open it and connect your Instagram account. To set up your channel, click on your profile picture and select the create channel option. Follow the instructions to set up your channel, your Instagram account information will automatically show on your channel and you’ll be encouraged to upload your first video!
To upload your first TV video via the app, click the + icon above your bio. The app will show you all the videos available to upload from your phone's gallery. Using the mobile app your video must be a minimum of 15 seconds and a maximum of 10 minutes in length. We suggest uploading a video you have edited on an app such as iMovie / or FilmMoraGo to ensure your video is concise and professional looking. After selecting your video you should edit the title, description and thumbnail to encourage your followers to click on your video and watch it!
REMEMBER! When using the mobile app the video title and description cannot be edited after upload, so make sure you really think about what you want this to be before posting. In addition many default thumbnail options aren’t the best, so think about creating your own thumbnail using tools such as Canva to create a custom thumbnail for your video. When you have followed all these steps, click post and upload your first video to your IGTV channel.
To set up your IGTV channel through desktop: Head to Instagram.com and log on to your account. On your profile you’ll notice an IGTV icon below your bio, click on this and follow the instructions to set up your channel.
To upload a video drag and drop a video from your computer into the upload file section of the new IGTV video page. Most of us are still limited to videos 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length. Verified (Blue tick) ‘larger’ accounts are able to upload videos up to an hour in length by uploading via desktop. While your video is uploading you can edit your title, description and thumbnail just like on the mobile app. Unlike the app however you can edit your title, description and thumbnail by clicking on the 3 dots next to your video and selecting ‘edit video.’ Then you can click post or save it as a draft to post later!
So two months after the feature launching, has it been successful? We’re not sure. Personally we don’t watch videos on IGTV, we often even forget it’s there as the icon is tucked away at the top of our Instagram feed!
So why do we think IGTV has not been very successful? To begin, IGTV is very strict on what kind of video you can upload. Videos must be in vertical or portrait mode and have an aspect ratio of 9:16 in order to fill the screen. Videos with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (square) are also supported but anything other than that cannot be uploaded. This is restricting as unless you film your video in portrait mode on a phone, or edit your video using a template on an editing software such as Premiere Pro it is extremely difficult to create a video for IGTV.
In addition we feel that IGTV simply can’t compete with YouTube. We haven’t found ourselves straying from our YouTube subscriptions to watch IGTV content from people we follow on Instagram. We also find it easier to upload our content to YouTube and then promote it on our other social platforms rather than repurposing the video into one in the correct ratio for IGTV. In addition, YouTube allows content creators to make money by uploading content which is not currently available on IGTV unless it is promotional ‘influencer’ content sponsored by a company.
Instagram has said that it plans to reward creators with popular content and believe that it is a platform on which creators can “build their careers and make money doing this work.” Will this actually happen or will paid content just give already popular YouTube creators a second platform to make money?
We must remember that IGTV has only been available for two months and is therefore in it’s very early stages of its life! By using the feature before and if it ‘takes off’ you will be able to work out what content works best for you and be really good at creating it. Many popular YouTubers such as Shane Dawson started creating content on YouTube in the first few years of the website being live meaning they didn’t have to fight through so much clutter to find their audience. Could this also be the case for IGTV? It may be worth a shot.
When using the IGTV app you do not need to search to find content from people you follow and content that Instagram thinks you may be interested in. This means that users do not need to be following you to be in the chance of viewing your content. This content will also keep people on Instagram for longer as it allows another thing for them to aimlessly scroll through, it’s another chance for you to cut through the clutter and engage with your audience.
Finally, there is a lot of story you can tell in 10 minutes. If you want your audience to know something, to notice you or your business then why not make an IGTV video? There were a lot of people that didn’t like Instagram Stories at first (Including us!) and look at it now!
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