Instagram TV – the future of video?

IGTV start screen

There were many rumors about Instagram tool for longer videos.  Finally, the Instagram TV, a standalone app “IGTV” was launched on Wednesday 20.06.2018. You can find the IGTV Appstore and Google Play.

What is Instagram TV

IGTV is an answer to the huge rise in popularity of video content. On IGTV the videos are full screen and vertical as everything on Instagram. The main reason for having vertical videos is the way we are consuming content nowadays – on our mobile screens, which are vertical.  The length of the video on IGTV can be from 15 seconds up to 1 hour. But the longest format is only available to the biggest accounts. “Normal” users can upload a video of maximum 10 minutes, at least for the moments. It’s possible that Instagram is testing the long format with bigger accounts and will make it available to everbody later on. But we will see of course.

How does Instagram TV work

IGTV is organized in channels. The channels are the creators, meaning corresponding Instagram accounts.   It is supposed to work like a TV, so the videos from the people you already follow on Instagram start playing at the moment you open the app. And that is the major difference in comparison to YouTube. Instagram is playing videos straight away, there is no serach for keywords or titles. You can only search for users/ channels. This is a major change for content creators used to Youtube, where they have already mastered YouTube SEO allowing them to rank their videos high. Here it won’t work,  you have acces to vides to all people that you follow and to videos that are popular in your niche.  The screen looks like this:

Instagram TV -IGTV search

If you already have an account on Instagram, you’ll easily start a channel on Instagram TV which will be corresponding with your Instagram account. You’ll be able to interact with the content creators in the app, and you’ll be able to follow them on IGTV. Once you start using it, there is no real need to use the stand alone app because, you’ll be able to acces IGTV directly from your Instagram account.

Recording and editing videos

At least for the moment, IGTV does not include an option to record the video using the IGTV app. So you need to have a video done and ready to upload before posting it on Instagram TV.There aren’t also any editing tools like filters etc.


What you have access to are the insights. You can see the engagement (views, likes, comments) as well as information about audience retention.

Instagram TV insights IGTV audience retention

New opportunities for content creators

For the moment it is difficult to evaluate in which way the content creators will go using this app. There is not a lot of content there yet and everybody is still experimenting. It is a completely new field for everybody which creates a lot of opportunities. For sure you can look for some inspiration on YouTube. One sure thing remains that engaging content is the one that is either inspiring, entertaining or educative.

Main characteristics of Instagram TV

  • vertical videos
  • full screen
  • up to 1 hour long (although for the moment the full length is only available for the biggest accounts)
  • creators are the channels
  • videos can be watched on IGTV app or on Instagram
  • comments, likes and sharing tools
  • videos have to be recorded before (no possibility to record via IGTV app)
  • no editing tools (no filters etc.)

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