IGTV: What it is, how it works and how to upload the first video

IGTV: What it is, how it works and how to upload the first video

On the occasion of the Billion of active users, Instagram launched IGTV a few years ago. In this article, you will find out what it is, how it works, and how to upload long videos to your Instagram profile. We will take the first steps together, from opening the channel to uploading the video. At the end of the guide, you will also find some of my personal reflections on IGTV, the positive aspects, and the ones I liked least.

Instagram is an ever-changing social network. The goal of the developers is to offer features capable of attracting new users and attacking market shares. With the Stories, they succeeded perfectly in their intent. In one fell swoop, they managed to win over new users and deal a hard blow to the competition that was becoming threatening. See Snapchat.

What is IGTV and how does it work?

But what is IGTV? The new App introduced by Instagram allows users to upload long videos. If until recently you could not add videos longer than one minute to your profile, this limit has been widely extended, now everyone will be able to upload long videos lasting one hour.

Unlike other features introduced by Instagram, IGTV is not very intuitive. It takes a minimum of familiarity to master the instrument. Also for these reasons, many argue that IGTV does not work. In reality, it is simply a matter of understanding how to use it. Let’s try to find out together.

IGTV is available both within Instagram and in the new independent IGTV App. If you want to download the separate version, all you have to do is access the various stores and proceed with the download.

What is the new Instagram App for

IGTV mainly serves two purposes:

  • Upload videos up to one hour long
  • Open a dedicated channel, just like you do for photos

You can access IGTV via the dedicated App, or by pressing the IGTV button located at the top right of your feed.

What to see on IGTV

Once you have accessed IGTV you can start exploring the new Instagram app dedicated to long videos.

In the main section, you will see scrolling through the videos that Instagram has chosen for you. But on IGTV there are also other sections:

  • The section that contains the videos uploaded by your followers
  • The section where you will find the most popular content on Instagram
  • And finally the “Keep Seeing” section where Instagram will try to offer you content that may interest you.

How to create a channel on IGTV

Now, with you, I’m going to create my first channel on IGTV.

In reality, the procedure seems quite simple. As you can see in the image above, on the right you will find a gear-shaped icon. Pressing the wheel opens a screen that allows you to create a new channel, or cancel the operation and go back.

By tapping on the “Create Channel” option, you access three new screens. This is a kind of welcome to the new app with a quick IGTV presentation.

“A new space to give vent to your creativity and interact with your followers through long videos. Longer-than-minute movies, in full screen and in portrait format, perfect for galvanizing the mobile experience to the maximum. “

So goes the slogan more or less.

At this point, just click on create channel on the last screen and that’s it. Much simpler than I imagined!

How to upload your first video

Now we just have to upload our first video. Again, the operation is very simple, select “Upload Video“, access the gallery of your smartphone, or press the + button on the left. Also in this case you will have access to the gallery of your mobile.

The video must comply with two fundamental prerequisites:

  • That it was done vertically
  • That the duration is not less than 15 seconds and less than 60 minutes.

Once you have chosen the video you want to upload from your gallery, you just have to post the video, enter a title, a description and choose whether to share it also on Facebook.

What are the most important elements

I have almost reached the end of the process. The first thing to consider is choosing the best possible preview. If you click on “Edit Cover” you can upload an image, or choose it from a video frame, exactly as happens when posting traditional videos on our Instagram profile.

The choice of the preview image is fundamental, much more so than other too often overrated aspects such as hashtags. In any case, in the description, I have also chosen to include some of the best hashtags. Before the description don’t forget to add a catchy title to your video as well.

The choice of title is another important aspect. The title must contain keywords related to the content to allow the Instagram algorithm to better understand the nature of the video and offer it to an audience that is as targeted as possible.

IGTV Pros and Cons

After having taken my first steps on the new Instagram App it is time to conclude this experience. Mine are hot considerations, in the next articles we will have the opportunity to better study the new Instagram App and we will try to find the best strategies to get the maximum visibility from IGTV.

What I like about IGTV

The idea behind IGTV is interesting. It was time for Instagram to make available to users the ability to make videos longer than the skimpy minute available until recently.

Instagram decided to get its hands on the rich video market and did it in its own way, focused on the mobile experience. And this is no small aspect. YouTube, a direct competitor, belongs to another era of the Internet when the public accessed the web mainly from the desktop. Today 70% of users come from mobile and Instagram was designed for mobile, not adapted like Facebook or YouTube, in fact.

IGTV will soon be colonized by all the experts who offer the most disparate tutorials on YouTube. But also a commercial activity will be able to make the most of the new features of IGTV.

What I dislike about IGTV

Difficulty in research. IGTV follows the trend of the social network that has actually revolutionized the web. When there were only Google people searched, today in the world of social media users suffer passively. Perhaps the younger ones like this aspect, the undersigned, however, a little less.

IGTV does not allow you to carry out a real search, but it gives you a roundup of videos and you just have to disconnect your brain and let yourself be hypnotized. This thing scares me a bit because it makes the user less aware and for this reason more conditioning.

The vertical format. Obviously, everything is studied, the developers certainly have elements in their possession that suggest one strategy rather than another. In any case, this vertical format, but very vertical, in fact, puts out a whole series of contents.


IGTV was born with the ambition of invading the video market and offering users the opportunity to make long videos to interact more closely with their followers. For its new App, Instagram has chosen a vertical format, the same one used in the Stories. In my opinion, it is a risky solution because it undermines many users who prefer other formats. For this reason, it cannot be considered a real alternative to YouTube, but something different.