Instagram has launched a brand new, long-form video format called Instagram TV (IGTV). One could argue this is done to celebrate one billion users and to challenge YouTube for video supremacy. As Gordon Donnelly says, now you can deliberately waste hours of your time consuming video and only video, just like you do on YouTube. In this blog, you will learn what Instagram TV is and how it works, find out what IGTV means for an entrepreneur, and find 3 questions to ask yourself before using IGTV.

‘What Can the Entrepreneur Achieve With IGTV?’ To celebrate one billion users and in an apparent effort to challenge YouTube for video supremacy, Instagram has launched a brand new, long-form video format called Instagram TV (IGTV). In this blog, you will learn what IGTV is and how it works, what IGTV means for an entrepreneur, and 3 questions to ask yourself before using IGTV:

How does IGTV work?

Like YouTube, IGTV gives users access to different channels from which to stream long-form content. IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. It allows users to set up an IGTV channel and post video content from 15 seconds to one hour. You can watch videos on a full screen, vertical format and once you are in the app, simply swipe up to “change the channel.”

From there, either search for your favorite channel, sort through popular content or scroll through videos crafted by the users you follow. Like the traditional app, you can still like, comment on, or share any video that piques your enthusiasm.

What does IGTV mean for the entrepreneur?

IGTV offers a very realistic upgrade to the organic content you have traditionally given your Instagram followers. For instance, you can now repurpose or repost your Facebook and/or YouTube videos. This way, you can get them in front of an entirely new segment of your social following. Uploading your first IGTV video officially creates your brand’s unique channel.

Like Instagram Stories, Instagram TV also allows you to add a swipe-up call-to-action, within which you can link to target landing pages. You can also upload IGTV videos straight to Facebook Watch. In keeping with Instagram’s modus operandi to this point, these videos do not have to be perfect. The vertical format is ideal for content created on the spot and on your smartphone and the users consuming that content are familiar with user-generated, unpolished, personable material.

IGTV specs

Here are some IGTV specs to keep in mind:

  • Video length: 15 seconds to 60 minutes (The full 60 minutes is currently only available to larger accounts or verified accounts. Everyone else has a limit of 10 minutes.)
  • File size: up to 3.6GB
  • File type: .MP4
  • Video size: 9:16
  • Video thumbnail/cover image: .JPG

If you are a brand, the possibilities of IGTV are endless

Charlotte Willcocks states that if you are a brand, the possibilities of IGTV are endless. You can go deep with your core consumers, you can bring new people into your brand world, and you can experiment to see if there is a new audience for your old content archive.

Top influencers are already creating exclusive content for IGTV. These influencers are keeping their engagement metrics high by using formats that they know their audience responds to. This way, they keep them on the platform for longer. For instance, Gucci went back to the archives and uploaded every runway presentation since 2015. The result? The brand has gained over 400k views across their back catalog, effectively reinforcing brand love.

Ilyse Liffreing claims that so far, posting to IGTV is a relatively easy way to gain views in the new IGTV content hub since this feed is not yet flooded with content. Marketers are also praising the channel’s integration with the original Instagram app, the focus on vertical video and the ability to create longer-form content.

IGTV presents a unique opportunity to engage with users at a deeper level. When your customers are thoughtfully seeking and opting into a more in-depth viewing experience, there is a stronger chance that your brand’s message will be received with welcome captivation.

However, Liffreing says that the limited search capabilities could be a drawback. Videos are divided by a section curated based on a user’s interests, followed accounts, and most popular videos. Users can search for individual creators, but there is no option to search for content based on genre or topic. Therefore, keep that in mind!

3 questions to ask yourself before using IGTV

Here are three questions to ask yourself before using Instagram TV:

1. Who is watching?

Fans do not have to be following you to find you. IGTV has an open brand name search as well as a ‘videos for you’ tab based on your previous engagement and a ‘popular tab’ based on what the world is watching.

2. What is the point?

The best performers on Instagram are known for a single purpose. What is the thing you want to be known for? How can you add value to your audience? Are there any gaps in your current Instagram content that longer-form video could answer? Is there something that will generate news for your brand?

3. What do you have to work with?

Think: how can you work this additional channel into upcoming shoots and content plans? Have you got a shoot coming up? Are there any existing social videos that you could re-edit and find a new audience for?