Instagram launched its longer form video content play with IGTV, a platform-specific video channel which will focus on promoting the work of content creators, giving them a new way to connect with their fans.

As explained by Instagram:

“These days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

IGTV Basics

Up until now, video content on Instagram has been limited to a maximum of 60 seconds in feeds, and 10 seconds per Stories frame. To create anything longer, users needed to piece together a bunch of shorter Stories clips, or add multiple videos to a single post, and neither option is suitable in a digital world where seamless is now the standard.

And seamless video consumption is clearly a theme for IGTV. Unlike You Tubers, IGTV users don’t need to search for videos. A single click opens the app, and the videos start rolling immediately.

In the broader landscape, IGTV is a relatively small addition, but it could have a major impact on digital video. Here’s an overview of Instagram new video option, and some tips on how you can make the most of it.

Initial specs and details for IGTV content

  • Videos are full screen and vertical
  • Videos can be anywhere from 15 seconds long, to 60 minutes (the full 60 minutes is currently only available to verified accounts, all other users have a limit of 10 minutes)
  • Users can watch IGTV content from within the Instagram app, or they can download the dedicated IGTV app
  • Videos start to play automatically upon opening the IGTV app
  • Users can like or comment on videos, or send videos to friends via DM
  • Creators have their own ‘channels’ like YouTube (and anyone can be a creator)
  • Videos can be uploaded via the IGTV app or the web
  • File size: Up to 3.6GB
  • File type: MP4
  • Video size: 9:16
  • Video thumbnail/cover image: .JPG
  • As of launch, no advertising options are available, but Instagram says it eventually plans to make sure popular video creators are able to make money from their efforts

As noted, to access IGTV, you can either download the app from your Play Store/App Store:

Or if you already have Instagram (who doesn’t?) you can access IGTV by clicking the TV icon in the top right corner of the app.