What is and how does Instagram TV works? A Quick Guide

February 18, 2020
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If you still don’t understand that video content is the hottest thing right now, the moment you see Instagram TV you’ll get it.

There’s no known limit for the billion-user app. Or at least, that’s what must be in Instagram’s mind, because it just released a feature allowing the creation of vertical video content. Making it, a direct competitor to the Discover feature on YouTube and Snapchat. But with the difference that YouTube isn’t focusing on the vertical format. An aspect that’s breaking with all game rules imposed by this huge video portal at the moment.

Perhaps this is a key element that Instagram TV has and the reason it’s currently growing. What’s true is that the brand decided to create this app taking advantage of the video format to celebrate its billion users.

One very evident thing is, the way the world consumes media has changed. IGTV is clear proof of this. So much, that according to Instagram, by 2020, 50% of all video views will come from a mobile screen. That’s why Instagram TV is betting on vertical videos. 

While YouTube hasn’t adapted its platform for vertical videos, Instagram TV has the clear advantage of playing the content in full screen without making the user rotate their phone. An interesting but risky method to beat these huge obstacles originally placed by YouTube. But Instagram has heard its users.

Also, IGTV stands out thanks to its simplicity. As expressed by Instagram in its official notice, this feature will activate at the moment you open it. Meaning, the user won’t have to search for this option to start enjoying its content.

But what is Instagram TV exactly?

Understanding what Instagram TV is, can be as simple as picturing a social media platform where you can share and watch videos. Nothing special.

But, consider that unlike the usual videos and stories, IGTV allows you to upload long videos, up to 1 hour. With the premise that these contents will not disappear in 24 hours. But for the moment, you can only upload 15 seconds – 10 minutes videos.

Second, the videos will open on full screen and in vertical format. Something quite convenient for the user. And as you know, the easier a thing is to do for the user, the better the engagement you’ll get from them.

And at last, the way content is played is very important. Unlike YouTube, where the platform needs a very specific search to get the right content, IGTV is played at the moment you open the tool. Meaning, it’s like turning on your TV. But this doesn’t mean you can’t search for things on IGTV.

It also has a “low demand” option. This option plays a video at the same exact moment you stopped watching it the last time. Similar to platforms such as Netflix.

For you to understand better what Instagram TV represents, think of this feature as the app for Instagram, what Facebook Messenger is for Facebook. Even if these are two different and separate apps that can work individually, together they make a whole package.

Consider that every IGTV channel is linked to a real Instagram account. Meaning that all your followers will have the same capacity to play the content you upload.

What you have to know about IGTV as a brand

  • Videos are played in full screen and in vertical format.
  • Videos should last around 15 sec to 10 minutes. The option to upload one-hour videos is only available for big and verified accounts at the moment.
  • Users can get to know more about Instagram TV through the app or by downloading the IGTV app.
  • Content is played automatically as soon as you open the IGTV app.
  • If you have created content, you can include an interactive call as “slide upwards” on the same video.
  • Inside the IGTV app, users can scroll through the following tabs:
    • For me”
    • “Next”
    • “Popular”
    • “Keep watching”.
  • As engagement goes, users can like, comment or share the content through Direct.
  • “Content creators” have their own channel. Meaning, if you upload a video you’ll have to open a channel, similar to YouTube.
  • The video can be uploaded to the IGTV app or through the website.
  • Also, it can also be uploaded to Facebook Watch.
  • The max size of the document is 3,6 GB.
  • Type of document: MP4
  • Video size: 9:16.
  • The thumbnail or cover: .JPG.

How do you create an account and upload a video?

Now you know what’s Instagram TV, the only thing left is to start working with it.

First, you need to create an account. The good news is that the application has made this process quite simple. So, you’ll be done in a few clicks.

  1. Download the IGTV app from the app store.
  2. Login with your Instagram account.
  3. Click on the Settings icon on the upper right corner and then click on “create channel”.

Now you know what is Instagram TV, and also have an active account, so it’s time to upload your first video:

  1. Click on the avatar to open your account page.
  2. Select a vertical video from your photo gallery.
  3. Add a title and a description. Don’t forget your keywords.
  4. Link your video to a landing page. Think about all the options you have available. You can link your video with your website, with a gallery or even an online store.
  5. Create a thumbnail for your video to give it a clean and organized look & feel.
  6. Click on the publish button and it will be uploaded.

The best examples of IGTV

These are some of the best channels you can enjoy now on IGTV:

1.- National Geographic

National Geographic’s Instagram profile is well-known thanks to their live videos, their high-quality posts, and now video content on IGTV.

For IGTV’s launch, the brand shared the first episode of “One Strange Rock”, a tv show directed by Darrent Aranofsky and narrated by Will Smith for Natgeo TV. It lasts for 47 minutes and includes interviews with astronauts, including Peggy Wilson and Chris Hadfield, and their perspectives of Earth.

2.- Petra Collins

The Canadian photographer and cameraman used Instagram TV to spread rumors of the new short movie starring Selena Gomez. The 30-second trailers included pictures with nightmarish scenes, for example, one with Selena Gomez sucking an eyeball. The short film will debut on IGTV pretty soon. 

3.- Zooey in the city

The young and popular influencer is using Instagram TV to launch “The Zooey Show”, a channel similar to other YouTube influencer channels.

The episodes have a mix of QA and “behind the scenes” material, each one lasting a couple of minutes. Besides the title, the content isn’t that different from her original Instagram stories content.

In the first episode, she answers three common questions she gets from her fans, such as, why she always wears shades on all her images. This way she looks very active in social media, she answers common questions and is usually interacting with her audience.

4.- Pelayo Díaz

As you can imagine, Instagram TV is a powerful weapon for influencers. As a matter of fact, people who didn’t create a YouTube channel at the time, now have a similar, easier and comfortable alternative. This is another key element for Instagram TV, how and who will take advantage of this Instagram feature.

In the end, you don’t need that much to make a video. You don’t need special edition software to make optimum content unless is a long-lasting video and needs some edition to create more engagement. However, as you can see in the example, you can use them as small tags to involve the audience. Create ties, familiarity, etc.

Would you like to start your own IGTV channel? With Antevenio is quite simple. Thanks to the authentic content published by influencers:

  • We identify influencers who adapt the best to your needs and brand.
  • We help you define a briefing that will attract influencers and your audience.
  • We amplify the impact of your actions with influencer marketing, improving the repercussion with more mentions and links to your brand and content.
  • Direct relation to thousands of influencers.
  • We are owners and we also manage a platform including 10.000 bloggers/influencers from all the world.

What are you waiting to find the potential of influencer marketing?


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