IGTV 101: Everything You Need To Know

In the summer of 2018, Instagram announced a huge change that is rocking the social media world by storm - IGTV. While the app has been adopted with some confusion, excitement, and resentment, I am here to give you a rundown on all things IGTV and spilling my insight of what this means for the social media world.

What is IGTV

IGTV is Instagram’s video platform created to emulate YouTube. Users are able to create a channel using their account and post 10 minute videos or 1 hour long videos for accounts with a larger following. With the decrease of TV viewing and the increase of other streaming options, Instagram created this app to keep users on the ‘Gram and engaged as a TV alternative.

IGTV vs YouTube

The biggest difference between Instagram and video streaming websites like YouTube is that the videos are vertical like an Instagram story video. The vibe is to be personal and not super polished, so no fancy editing software or camera gear is needed to create an IGTV video. You can use the app to view three different categories: For You, Following, and Popular.

If you’re looking for tips on how to upload onto IGTV, be sure to follow my IG stories for tutorials and tips. As IGTV stands now, it isn’t a direct competitor with YouTube, but instead a welcomed addition to your Instagram strategy. Since you can seamlessly integrate your IGTV content with Stories by sharing them to stories or linking them with the swipe up feature, it makes IGTV a tool for offering more value to your followers. The greatest plus to using this platform is the ability to add clickable links to the video descriptions. Since this is one of the only places you can links on Instagram, this a welcome opportunity to share links and get your followers on Instagram and on to your website.

NEW! The Latest IGTV Algorithm Change

In February 2019, Instagram released an IGTV algorithm change that now allows users to share a 1-minute preview on to your feed which is a game changer for the platform. The greatest problem users found with watching IGTV videos was navigating outside of their feeds to watch videos. After the 1-minute preview ends, the users will have the ability to watch more on the IGTV channel. This change fixes this feature with the hope of increasing use of IGTV by users.

There’s a few things to note when sharing IGTV videos to your grid:

  • The shared IGTV video will now be featured on your grid with a IGTV icon in the top right hand corner which means optimizing your cover photo is more important now.

  • You have to decide when posting to your feed with IGTV to share to your feed in the moment and cannot share archived videos on your channel to your feed. When you’re posting an IGTV video and it prompts to share to Facebook, this is now where the option to share to your feed will live.

  • When designing your cover photo, be sure that it can easily be cropped to 4:5 for your feed and 1:1 square for your grid to ensure it will match the aesthetic of your grid. Centering the image you’re using in the frame or creating a template design that easily can be cropped would be the best way to do this.

  • Keep your analytics in mind when posting an IGTV video to your feed just like you would when scheduling a post. I suggest checking your Instagram insights under audience to see when users are most active for a longer period of time.

  • Since the 1-minute preview is shared to your feed, be sure to grab your viewers attention instantly in that first minute of the video. By letting them know what they can expect in the video and what value they will get by watching, this will ensure they watch more and click any CTA’s in the video description.

  • One of the biggest changes is that the title (NOT the description) of your IGTV video becomes the Instagram caption when shared to your feed. So with the allotted 75 characters that can include emojis - use them wisely!

Read more about the latest algorithm update on Later’s blog.

 So, what’s next for IGTV?

I think this platform is still evolving and will continue to grow. Fortunately, repurposing content on this channel with other video content and creating content from strategy can be extremely simple. I have been filming clips on my iPhone and editing them in the easy to use app, InShot. This app is amazing for editing videos, adding music, cutting clips, adding text, and more.

This is Instagram's step towards taking over YouTube and other video marketing platforms. With so many YouTubers frustrated with the algorithm and change of landscape, IGTV simplified the video sharing and creation process. Since visuals are extremely powerful, a new platform for sharing video is an excellent marketing tool.

The biggest con of IGTV is the annoying reality of having another social media platform to feel the pressure of using/viewing on the app. Content creators are scrambling to figure out ‘how am I going to create even more unique content for IGTV’ and users are even more confused on where to find their favorite brands and influencers. This also brings up the questions ‘what about IG stories?’. I think you can have the best of both worlds by creating lengthier content on IGTV as compared to IG Stories while still being able to share it on Stories.

I have yet to figure out what this means for social media in general and the strategy behind it (hashtags, ideal posting times, statistics, etc.), but I am excited to see how this platform plays out. I’d love to hear from you, comment how you plan on using IGTV or your thoughts on this new platform.

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