start with igtv

Instagram TV is finally here.

The long-awaited YouTube substitute for Instagram is live and public and the creators from all over the world can now start sharing long vertical videos on Instagram that can be 15 seconds to 60 minutes long.

Click to watch the full announcement by the Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

The service is a standalone app for  iOS or Android that is built for users to fully utilize the functionalities for creating specifically for IGTV.

Instagram has nicely connected the two services with their native app, by allowing all the posts from IGTV to be distributed to the main Instagram app and to the user’s followers. The same as you will publish an Instagram post but is just on another app. Or if you do not want to use another mobile app you can post your IGTV videos from the Instagram native app or your profile on the Instagram desktop version.

In the following text, I will show you how to do the both, a post from mobile or upload the video from desktop.

But before you start uploading your IGTV videos, please consider the requirements that you need to follow for the video to be suited for IGTV.

IGTV requirements

All the details about the rules and specifications of your IGTV video can be found in the IGTV requirements help center.

Here are some of these requirements that you will need to know before starting with IGTV

Video Length

Videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.

Note: Larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer.

Video File Type

Videos must be in MP4 file format.

Aspect Ratio and Video Size

Videos should be vertical (not landscape) with a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and maximum of 9:16.

The maximum file size for videos that are 10 minutes or less is 650MB. The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 5.4GB.

Video Content

Instagram is focused to provide the best experiences for everyone. That means videos that don’t follow the Instagram’s Community Guidelines may be removed from Instagram. If you see something that you think may violate our guidelines, you can report it.

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How to upload IGTV from desktop

If your account has the option of creating IGTV, you will see it immediately once you log in to your Instagram account on a desktop.

Just look for an IGTV tab below your profile details. Here is a screenshot:

IGTV setup

The first step before uploading your first IGTV is to create your IGTV channel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the IGTV tab
  2. Click Get Started and follow the steps
  3. On the final step just click ‘Create channel’

create IGTV channel

That’s it.

Once you’ve activated your channel, you will be able to upload your first long Instagram video.

To do this, just go back on your profile page and in the IGTV tab click on the button Upload.

upload Instagram video

After you perform this action, on the next screen you will be able to upload the video.

new video

As you can see, you will need to fill in the following details about your video:

  1. Upload vertical cover photo
  2. Write Title and description or
  3. Choose to post on Facebook

Once you are ready, just click ‘Post’ and your video will be published in few minutes (this time depends on your video size and Internet upload speed). Also, you have the option to save it as a Draft and publish it later.

How to upload IGTV from mobile

As I mentioned above, Instagram has built a standalone IGTV app that is solely dedicated for publishing IGTV videos. You can also upload videos from the native Instagram app, which I believe is more easier for people who do not want to have another app on their phone.

To publish IGTV videos from your Instagram app, first, you will need to create a channel:

From the Instagram app or IGTV app:

  1. Tap the TV icon in the top right of Feed, or open the IGTV app
  2. To create your channel, tap the gear icon, which appears to the right of Search IGTV
  3. Tap ‘Create Channel’
  4. In the popup screens just click ‘Create Channel’ on the final step

And here is how you can upload your first IGTV video:

In the IGTV section,

  1. Tap your profile icon (at the view your channel popover), which appears to the right of Search IGTV
  2. Tap the plus icon and choose a video, then tap Next
  3. Add a title and description
  4. Tap ‘Post’

new igtv video

How to watch IGTV videos

Please remember that for now the IGTV is built for the mobile. This means that in order to watch IGTV videos you need to have installed the Instagram iOS or Android app.

All users in the coming days will see a top right bar TV icon, that when clicked will open the IGTV section of the Instagram app.

IGTV notification

Please note that when some of your friends or users that you follow, post IGTV video, you will receive a notification like shown in the screenshot above.

In the IGTV section, you will be able to watch videos from people that you follow or discover more videos. There are few section that you can navigate through: “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.”

You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.

And before you go, one more thing …

Bonus: You can Add IGTV Video in an Instagram Story

Awesome, right?

I was totally blown away with this feature. Now you can basicly re-use the IGTV video and post it in your Instaram Stories making your story more rich and allowing your story viewers to get the IGTV content, too.

Here is how you can add the IGTV link in an Instagram Story:

In your Story creator screen,

  • Click the top ‘link’ icon (like shown below)
  • Select an IGTV Video from your IGTV channel
  • Click ‘Done’

igtv link in instagram story

Once you do this above, your IGTV video link will appear as a Swipe up link in your Instagram Story, that when clicked will open the video.

Hope this tutorial will help you to get started with IGTV, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Katerina Bojkov

Co-Founder of EmbedSocial and Head of Growth. Previous owner of a Facebook Partner Company and a digital marketing agency. Marketing API geek and a Call of Duty fan.