Everything You Need to Know About IGTV

If you've been on Instagram this week, you've probably heard that Instagram has launched a new video platform called IGTV. 

IGTV is Instagram's new mobile-only video platform. Similar to YouTube and Instagram Stories in a lot of ways, IGTV is giving creators the freedom to share videos in a unique user-friendly way. But, what sets IGTV apart from Instagram stories and YouTube you ask... a few unique features: mobile-only platform, vertical video layout and categories to keep people engaged.  

With any new software, there can be a bit of a learning curve. If we're being really-real it took me 4 hours to create a 1 minute slideshow video. If you don't want it to take you that long, which I know you don't, you'll also want to check out my tips and tricks in this post.

PS: You should go view that video that is filled with my blood, sweat and tears. You can check it out at my Instagram profile located right next to the Highlights. 

Okay, let's get started. 



Unique Features

Mobile-Only Video Platform

IGTV is a mobile-only video platform. 

You can watch these videos in the Instagram app, the IGTV app or by navigating to someone's profile and selecting the IGTV icon. To upload your own video, you'll need to create a channel in the IGTV app, which I'll explain later.

As a creator, using IGTV has one big advantage with the notification feature. When you upload a new video to IGTV anyone who follows you will get a notification across the top of their Instagram feed, like below: 

IGTV Notification Screenshot


Vertical Video Layout

This one is pretty self-explanatory. IGTV is created with vertical video displays in mind. Although, you can upload a horizontal video, they will only display as full-screen if the viewer rotates their phone. 

As a viewer, I love the vertical video layout. It's an easier and more natural viewing experience and I think it will add the personal touch that Instagram stories have. 

As a creator, it's a pain in the butt and why it took me 4 hours to create a 1 minute video. However, I don't want that to deter you. I uploaded my first video the day IGTV launched and no one had tips to share. Also, I assume video-editing apps will work quickly to make updates to accommodate the vertical video layout. 

But, until then I'm sharing my tips + tricks below. 

IGTV Categories

IGTV also created three categories for ease of browsing. The three categories are: For You, Following and Popular. 

  • The For You category is a selection of videos that Instagram thinks you'll like based off of who you follow and the images you like. 
  • The Following category is a collection of all the Instagram accounts you already follow. That means everyone who follows your Instagram already follows your IGTV.
  • The Popular category is a collection of all the videos that are trending on IGTV. Think influencers, celebrities and professional brands as the front-runners here.

These categories may change and grow as IGTV expands, but that's just a speculation.


Getting Started

Now that you know a little bit about what IGTV is and how can to use it as a viewer, it's time to get started creating your own videos. 

Create a channel

First, we'll create a channel by downloading the IGTV app. 

When you download the app you will get a prompt that asks if you would like to proceed. If you are logged into Instagram under your preferred account, you can press continue. Otherwise, simply press Switch Accounts in the lower left-hand side.

Second, you'll need to press the Settings gear on the right hand side. When the settings tab opens select Create Channel. 

That's it! 

Upload vertical video

Now that you've created a channel, you can start uploading videos. 

Select your profile image to navigate to your channel. Once there, select the + button. Select the vertical video you would like to upload. (I'll share tips and tricks below to help you create a vertical video - it was harder than I expected - a lot harder lol). Lastly, write your title, add a description and select a cover. 

Really simple!

Analyze the insights

IGTV is giving you access to insights similar to what you'd see on Instagram. 

To view your insights navigate to your video and press the three dots. Select View Insights.

Everything you Need to Know About IGTV | View Insights

A few of these insights include: views, likes, comments and audience retention. 

A View counts anyone who watch past the first 3 seconds before navigating away. Likes and Comments are self-explanatory. Audience Retention shows you a graph of how long people viewed the video before navigating away. 


Tips + Tricks

Now, let's break down the information that you really want to know. How to easily create vertical videos for IGTV!

Record on your phone without editing

The easiest way to upload a vertical video is to shoot a video on your phone without editing the content.

I think this would be a fun idea for sharing information similarly to a webinar or podcast. You could also use it to re-purpose old blog posts or newsletters or answer some FAQ's or detail your client process... I think a little creativity could go a long way with this fun new video platform!

Combine apps

If you need to do some editing to your video or create a slideshow, I suggest using two apps: iMovie and Rotate & Flip Video. 


I created my graphics in Adobe Illustrator at 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels. When we finish, these dimensions will be reversed to 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels. 

Currently, no editing apps allow you to edit vertical images or video clips, so I created them as horizontal images instead. 

Horizontal image I uploaded to iMovie.

Horizontal image I uploaded to iMovie.

Side note: You can rotate your images in the iMovie app, but I spent 10 minutes trying and couldn't make it work. So, I just recreated my graphics as horizontal images. If you can make it work, please share your secrets in the comments!

If you are editing video clips, I suggest recording straight from your phone to simplify this process!

  1. Open iMovie
  2. Upload horizontal graphics
  3. Make your edits Note: your video will be displayed incorrectly during this process, don't worry about it.
  4. Save and download the horizontal video to your phone

Rotate & Flip Video

Now that you have a well-edited video, preferably with transitions and music. It's time to rotate the video to display vertically.

  1. Upload your horizontal video
  2. Rotate it 90 degrees in the app
  3. Save and download to your phone

That's it!

Upload your video to IGTV using the steps above. Congratulations! You've just uploaded your first video. You little trend-setter, you.

How did this process go for you? What challenges did you run into? Did you find better apps? Let me know in the comments!