How to Use Instagram TV

You’ve just recorded a fantastic video!  It outlines your processes perfectly, it highlights one of your best designs yet (you look great too, by the way!) You just know it will be the perfect post for catching some new attention on Instagram!

Unfortunately, it’s too long.  

Instagram videos cap at 60 seconds and your video is 2 minutes long. A year ago, you probably would have made a disappointed sigh and cut the video down to size – but, not in today’s Instagram world. Now, there is an option called Instagram TV (IGTV) and it is the perfect solution for posting your swoon-worthy Instagram videos.  

What is Instagram TV (IGTV)

IGTV is an Instagram feature and app that allows you to share and view video content for your business. It has a vertical format, similar to that of Instagram Stories, though IGTV allows for long-form content of up to an hour, and videos will not disappear after 24 hours.  

As an alternative, you can go live on Instagram Live through the Stories feature to have live interaction with your followers, directly answering their questions while doing Q&As, tutorials or tips. This pushes your story avatar to first in line with the live icon on your avatar. The live videos disappear as soon as you’re done. But, here’s the trick: you can set your live video to download to your phone when it’s done and then you can upload it to IGTV, which allows you to utilize both platforms.  You can go live for up to an hour, but IGTV will only allow video uploads of up to 10 minutes unless you have a large following on your Instagram account.  

IGTV is accessible from both the standard Instagram app, as well as through a separate IGTV app. On the original Instagram app, you can access IGTV through the TV icon in the top right-hand corner, which will be highlighted if there is new content available for you to view.

The average user can upload videos 15 seconds and 10 minutes long onto IGTV, however, “verified” and “larger” accounts have the ability to upload up to 60 minutes worth of video content. Remember, you have to have the video on your phone to be able to upload it onto the app. Sometimes it can be tricky to download longer videos onto your phone and upload them into the app due to large file sizes and wi-fi constraints.

How to use Instagram TV

When it comes to using IGTV, you have two options. You can either download the Instagram TV app from the App Store, Google Play (or wherever you download apps from!). Or, you can use the Instagram app itself.  

To use the IGTV app, make sure you are logged into your Instagram account through the Instagram app, then open up the IGTV app. Your profile will be found automatically. From there you need to click the “gear” icon in the top right corner and choose “create channel.”  

To use IGTV through the Instagram app, simply click the IGTV icon in the top right-hand corner and follow the same steps as above to create your Instagram channel.

Posting video content on Instagram TV

Before you can post your video on IGTV there are a few things that you need to do.

  1. Record your video vertically. Horizontal video can be used, but the viewers will only see a small vertical section of the video. Test whether your horizontal video is useable at all on IGTV. No horizontal videos are ideal on IGTV, but some can be made to work depending on if the main action of the shot is in the are IGTV uses.

  2. Download the video to the camera roll on your phone.  

  3. Create an IGTV cover image. is a great program to use for designing these. You could use a still image from the video directly on your phone, but having an eye-catching cover image may help entice viewers to tap on your IGTV video. Image size should be 1080 x 1680 pixels.

  4. Add a title for your IGTV video.  Your title can be up to 75 characters long and should directly to relate to what the video is about.

  5. Add a description for your IGTV video.  Don’t be afraid to give too much detail in your description as they can be up to 2200 characters in length. Tell a story, share your behind the scenes thoughts or insights and don’t forget about the hashtags and @mentions!  Tagging other Instagram Profiles as well as using up to 30 clickable & searchable hashtags will help IGTV viewers find and watch your video. You can’t use the search function on IGTV within Instagram to search for hashtags, but when you search for hashtags on the Instagram app, IGTV videos come up.

When you’re ready to post a video to your IGTV channel, tap your avatar from the main IGTV page and click on the “+” in the right-hand corner. Select the video you’d like to post from your camera roll. From here you can upload the cover image you created – or, you can choose a still image from your IGTV video, then you can add in your description and hashtags.  

Hold on though, because we’re not done yet.  

Your video may be too long to post in the Instagram app in its entirety, but you CAN post a preview to your Instagram feed. All you have to do is ensure that you have “Post Preview” ticked off underneath the description box (available only for IGTV videos over 1 minute in length). When you select “preview post” for your IGTV video, a 1-minute snippet of your video will be added to your Instagram Feed giving Instagrammers the option to watch the full video on IGTV.  You can even choose to share your video on Facebook!

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to IGTV.  

Need help with your IGTV strategy?  We’d love to chat!

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