What is IGTV? How to Use it and 7 Tips & Tricks for Best Results!

July 11, 2018 by Alex Tooby

Instagram is at it again.. They’ve just added another, new feature! This time it’s a BIG one. Introducing IGTV!

What is IGTV (Instagram TV)?

This new feature allows users to create a channel (similar to a YouTube channel) and upload videos from 15 seconds to 1 hour in length (however most users are limited to 10 minutes at this time). This comes as great news to those who use video often but feel restricted by Instagram’s standard 60 second limit. It also offers the opportunity for individuals, brands and businesses to share even more with their audience through detailed, long-form video!

Prefer to watch the video version of this tutorial? Check out my YouTube video!

The main difference between IGTV and YouTube, is that Instagram is forcing creators to upload vertical video only, whereas YouTube users are accustomed to the opposite – landscape video. Instagram has implemented this difference to encourage users to create original content, specifically for IGTV, making cross-posting your YouTube video to IGTV a bit complex (it can be done, but will need to be exported differently to fit IGTV’s aspect ratio). Another major difference is there is no real way to search for videos based on their content. Currently you can only search for Instagram users. Meaning if you want to find a video specifically on how to paint with watercolors, you’re better off searching on YouTube!

Despite their differences, the addition of IGTV means Instagram users will be creating and uploading even more, exciting content to share with their followers, build their audience and show off their expertise!

Ready to explore IGTV? Follow the step-by-step tutorial below to get started:

How to Create an IGTV Channel

  • Update your Instagram app
  • Log into Instagram and click the IGTV icon in the top right-hand corner
  • Tap the cog on the right side of the screen
  • Select ‘Create Channel’

IGTV - How to use IGTV Instagram TV

That’s it! IGTV will automatically pull all your Instagram bio information, including profile picture and follower count and add it to your IGTV channel. At this time, the only way to change this info is to edit your Instagram profile.

*Note: you can also access IGTV through the stand-alone app that can be found in the app store.

How to Upload a Video to IGTV

Instagram is allowing users to upload IGTV content from both mobile and desktop! To upload via the IGTV app:

  • Access your IGTV profile
  • Tap the plus icon on the right to access your camera roll
  • Select a video you want to upload (make sure it’s vertical and at least 10 seconds long – anything shorter will not show up)
  • Review the video, then Tap ‘Next’
  • Fill out your video Title, Description and choose if you would like it to appear on your Facebook page or not

IGTV - How to use IGTV Instagram TV

  • Tap ‘Edit Cover’ and upload a cover image from your camera roll or choose ‘Cover From Video’ to select one from your clip.
  • If selecting a cover from video, slide the white box at the bottom of the screen through your video and stop on the image you want as your cover
  • Tap ‘Done’
  • Tap ‘Post’

To upload via

  • Log in to
  • Navigate to your profile and tap the ‘IGTV’ button above your photos
  • Click the ‘Upload’ button
  • Add your video, cover image, title & description
  • Tap ‘Post’

IGTV - How to use IGTV Instagram TV

Your video is now live and can be viewed from your IGTV channel! Your Instagram followers will see a notification at the top of their Instagram feed, saying you just uploaded a new video, however if they are following a lot of other people using IGTV it may not last long. To get more people to see your videos try uploading a new post, or Instagram story stating you added to your channel (see #5 in the tips & tricks below for how to do this)

How to Access & Understand Your IGTV Analytics

IGTV gives relatively detailed analytics for every video you upload to your channel. By keeping a close eye on these you can make changes to your strategy to improve viewership and audience retention. To view your analytics:

  • Access your IGTV profile
  • Tap on a recent upload
  • Select the 3 dot icon and choose ‘View Insights’

Here you will see the videos:

  • Views (how many people watched at least 3 seconds of your video)
  • Likes (how many people liked the video)
  • Comments (how many comments were left)
  • Average percentage watched (the average length of your video watched by all viewers)
  • Percent of plays at a particular time (shows the amount of people who were still watching at a certain time)

How to use IGTV - How to use Instagram TV

All of these are important, however keeping an eye on the “percent of plays” in specific, will tell you where people are exiting your video. If everyone stops watching around the 3 minute mark you may want to decrease the duration of your future videos, or take a peek at what happens around that time that could potentially make people stop watching. By always taking into account your analytics, you’ll be able to perfect your IGTV strategy and create a well-performing account!

IGTV Tips & Tricks you NEED to Know

While exploring IGTV I noticed a few important things that you should be aware of, before diving deep into the new feature:

1.  You CAN’T edit your video title or description on mobile, but you CAN on desktop (if you make a mistake, don’t panic, just go to and click the ‘IGTV’ tab!)

2.  Links within IGTV video descriptions ARE clickable! (Make sure you’re linking to something relative and useful)

3.  Your IGTV channel will appear on your Instagram profile next to your story highlights

IGTV - How to use IGTV Instagram TV

4.  IGTV videos must be recorded at 9:16 aspect ratio or 1080 x 1920px (if you record with your phone upright, you don’t need to worry about this!)

5.  You can link to your IGTV video within Instagram Stories (when uploading a story, click the link icon, then choose ‘IGTV video’ and select the video you want to link to)

IGTV - How to use IGTV Instagram TV

6.  You will receive IGTV notifications in your Instagram notification tab (getting likes and comments on your videos? They’ll appear in your Instagram account!)7.  IGTV does not currently have have any ads or methods for monetization (however I expect we will see this addition very soon if they truly want to compete with YouTube) 

So there you have it, the in’s and out’s of IGTV! What do you think?

I personally think IGTV is a great addition to the Instagram app, however it’s not necessary for every account to jump on board (just yet). Without monetization opportunities like YouTube (getting paid based on views), or a way for viewers to find your content via search, creating content for IGTV could be an increased work load with little return on investment. Now, having said that, if you create quality IGTV content that impresses your audience or amplifies your expertise, you can improve your relationship with them and that could lead to more engagement or sales, but the ability to reach new audiences is limited at this point so… I wouldn’t put all your eggs in the IGTV basket if you know what I mean! (Try it out but don’t dedicate all your time and energy to it just yet as it hasn’t proven itself to be a positive return on investment just yet)

Edit: Instagram just released a new feature that allows you to add 60 second IGTV previews to your main Instagram feed. Users will see this in their feeds like they do regular content, but there will be a button that allows them to click over to IGTV and watch the full video! This will greatly increase getting new audiences over to your long-form content on IGTV so make sure if you are posting there, that you share it to your feed as well!

What do you think about IGTV? Will you use it? Have you already uploaded a video? Let me know in the comments below!

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Super informative! Thank you, I learned a lot.

Hmm…interesting. I love knowing that longer videos can be put on Instagram. Thanks for sharing a great tutorial!

I don’t Know if I will use it. But thank you so much for the detailed instructions. If I choose to I will be back to this post for sure.

Excellent informative video (my favorite yet). Thanks for the great class on IGTV. I just uploaded my first IGTV video.

As an artist I think IGTV gives an opportunity to show more of the process (1 minute is very restrictive when you have to condense hours of work!!) but I haven’t found many apps that edit video vertically (iMovie is horizontal and from what I’ve seen flipping it around just makes it super grainy cause of all the compression)… any tips on what to use for editing?

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