What is Instagram Television? Will IGTV Shake Up Online Video?

Recently, Instagram released its own YouTube-esque platform, Instagram Television (IGTV), to take Instagram – and video itself – forward into the future.

Not only does IGTV give Instagram users a new way to use the platform, it also shows great potential for the future of how people watch videos and even advertise online.

Read on to learn more about what will probably be the biggest Instagram update…

IN A RUSH?! Click for our < 2-minute snapshot

What is IGTV? Instagram TV. Instagrams answer to YouTube

How Does IGTV Work?

To gain access to this new feature, you’ll of course, need the latest Instagram update. From the update, you’ll then see a new symbol at the top of your screen. It will similar to the Instagram logo, except with a ‘TV’ symbol included.

From here you’ll see four options: ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’and ‘Continue Watching’. The ‘ForYou’ option will show many different types of videos such as popular videos and videos from people who you follow. It is basically a mix of the two other options  ‘Following’ and ‘Popular’. If you start to watch a video and move away from it, it is easy to go back to it due to the ‘continue watching’ option.

To upload you own videos, you’ll need to first create your channel. This is simple. All you need to do it s click on the cog symbol (it looks quite a lot like a settings symbol). This symbol will then change into your Profile Picture on your account when ever you set up the video. Once your channel is set up, to add a video, you need to click the plus button.

There is also a IGTV app which users may want to use a lot more often than going through the actually Instagram app as using this app is a lot easier.

Differences Between IGTV and YouTube

The main difference between IGTV and YouTube is found by way of the vertical videos. IGTV only allows you to post videos that are vertical and not landscape. This is a massive difference between YouTube and itself as videos vertical videos on YouTube can be very hard to watch and is a great feature as more and more people are now watching videos from their mobiles, tablets and other handheld devices. 

YouTube vs Instagram Television

For the moment you can only upload videos of between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. This will more than likely be changed in the future. It could also mean a lot of people will prefer YouTube to IGTV if they have a long video.

If a person wants to post a long video to IGTV, they will need to do it in multiple videos. You also can’t create playlists for the meantime on the new feature, so you should use hashtags. A hashtag can create a list of videos within that hashtag, so a slight playlist. Although any video using this hashtag will be found in this list. 

For instance if ProfileTree had multiple videos for creating a WordPress site, you could use a hashtag showing as #ptcreatewordpress. This hashtag will then show all videos with the same hashtag, and I’m sure a lot of people will not be using that hashtag. 

Another feature that is great compared to YouTube is the search. You are easily able to search for videos while watching other videos. Compared to YouTube videos searching can be difficult, if you are watching a video. It almost forces you to watch a video before searching for another. 

Both IGTV and YouTube are popular platforms for creators to share video content, but they cater to different audiences and offer distinct advantages. Choosing the best platform depends on your goals, target audience, and content format. Here’s a detailed breakdown of their key differences:

1. Video Length:

  • IGTV: 15 minutes to 60 minutes (up to 600 minutes for verified accounts)
  • YouTube: Up to 12 hours (longer videos require verification)

2. Video Format:

  • IGTV: Primarily vertical format, optimized for mobile viewing
  • YouTube: Supports both horizontal and vertical formats, with horizontal being the dominant format

3. Audience:

  • IGTV: Over 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram, primarily younger demographics interested in entertainment, lifestyle, and trends
  • YouTube: Over 2 billion active monthly users, broader demographics spanning various interests and age groups

4. Content Focus:

  • IGTV: Short-form videos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, live streams, product demonstrations, vlogs, and tutorials
  • YouTube: Longer-form videos, in-depth tutorials, educational content, documentaries, gaming videos, music videos, and movie trailers

5. Monetization:

  • IGTV: Ads, brand deals, and influencer marketing
  • YouTube: Ads, subscriptions, Super Chat, and merchandise sales

6. Analytics:

  • IGTV: Basic stats like views, likes, comments, and audience demographics
  • YouTube: Extensive data and insights, including audience retention graphs, traffic sources, demographics, and engagement metrics

7. Community Features:

  • IGTV: Polls, questions, live Q&A sessions, hashtag integration
  • YouTube: Comments, likes, dislikes, subscriptions, live chat, community tab with polls and discussions

8. Discovery:

  • IGTV: Explore tab, hashtag search, suggestions based on your Instagram activity
  • YouTube: Search bar with keyword and channel suggestions, recommendations based on your viewing history

9. Strengths:

  • IGTV: Engaging mobile experience, strong community features, ideal for short-form content and building brand awareness
  • YouTube: Extensive content library, diverse audience, powerful monetization options, comprehensive analytics

10. Weaknesses:

  • IGTV: Limited video length for non-verified accounts, smaller audience compared to YouTube
  • YouTube: Algorithmic changes can affect discoverability, saturated market

Choosing the Right Platform:

  • Use IGTV if:
    • You want to create short-form, engaging videos for a mobile audience
    • You want to leverage the Instagram community and hashtags
    • You want to focus on building brand awareness and engagement
  • Use YouTube if:
    • You want to create longer, in-depth videos
    • You want to reach a broader audience across various demographics
    • You want to monetize your content through ads, subscriptions, and other features

Ultimately, the best platform depends on your specific goals and content strategy. By analyzing the differences between IGTV and YouTube, you can make an informed decision and leverage the strengths of each platform to achieve your desired outcome.

Can It Compete With The Likes of YouTube?

We all know and understand that the go-to platform for videos is, of course. YouTube. In fact every minute, 300 hours of video content is uploaded to the platform.

With YouTube being so dominant, it’s very hard to compete. So what does that mean for IGTV?

IGTV is an attempt to completely change the game. How? Well, Instagram’s new platform is built around vertical videos, the videos we have complained about for years and years when uploaded to the like of YouTube. They have focused more on this because more and more people are using smaller handheld devices instead of desktops to watch videos and many of these devices have vertical screens.

For instance if you’re a user of YouTube and you try to watch videos, you either need to watch the video sideways or it will be a small video located at the top of the screen. Why? Well, its because all videos uploaded to YouTube are landscape videos. This means many more people who watch videos on their phones and other smaller devices will potentially use IGTV over YouTube due to the screen size of the video.

So yes, the new platform has potential to compete with YouTube over this one very big fact!

Do we think it’ll compete? Not so much. YouTube is not like other social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, where other platforms come along and steal users. YouTube have been the biggest and somewhat the only video social media/platform, for over 13 years. This is a difficult fact for any newcomer to work around!

What Does This Mean for Creators Like You and Me?

If you’re one of the many creators from around the world, IGTV could potentially revolutionise the way you go about making your content. With the new IGTV, creators will now need to think of new ways to create and make their videos. Since the release of IGTV, many creators have then used the same video they have uploaded to YouTube and have applied it to their new IGTV channel.

Only one problem! If the original video was in landscape, there is no way you can change that video into a vertical video. This meant many creators uploaded the YouTube video to IGTV with just the middle part of the video, hoping for the best. 

How to fix this? It is a bit of a difficult situation! The only way we can see people fixing this problem is by uploading their YouTube video to the new IGTV and placing it sideways. This could be the reason many people will stick to uploading to YouTube as it is very familiar.

Other people may also just want to use IGTV as a place to upload longer stories, as before stories on SnapChat could only be ten seconds long and up to a minute on Instagram.

What is IGTV?

ProfileTree and IGTV

Will ProfileTree jump onto the IGTV bandwagon? In the future….probably! You’ll probably find that adverts and many other similar videos from the company will be uploaded to this new Instagram feature. Videos will be very similar to YouTube. The only problem we might find is the difference between the new vertical videos on IGTV and the usual videos on YouTube. 

The best part of this new feature is the fact that there is now another platform/feature we can now become apart of. And easily too.

IGTV Video Formatting: Beyond Technical Requirements

While understanding technical specifications like video format (MP4), resolution (1080×1920), and aspect ratio (9:16) is essential for IGTV success, optimizing your video content for engagement goes far beyond technical parameters. Here’s a deeper dive into strategic advice for crafting compelling IGTV videos:


  • Strike a balance: While IGTV allows videos up to 60 minutes (10 minutes for non-verified accounts), research suggests optimal engagement for videos between 5-10 minutes. Aim for a sweet spot that delivers valuable content without losing viewers’ attention.
  • Consider your audience: Analyze your target audience and their typical attention spans. For younger demographics, shorter, punchier videos might be more effective, while longer tutorials or in-depth discussions might resonate better with others.
  • Split longer content into series: If you have comprehensive information to share, break it down into smaller, more digestible episodes. This keeps viewers engaged and encourages them to subscribe to your IGTV channel for the next installment.


  • Keep it dynamic: Don’t rely solely on static shots. Use cuts, transitions, and visual effects to keep viewers engaged and visually stimulated.
  • Hook them early: Grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds. Use a captivating intro, ask a question, or offer a quick preview of the video’s value.
  • Tell a story: Add narrative to your video. Weave together different segments, introduce a conflict or challenge, and offer a resolution. Storytelling helps emotionally connect with viewers and make your content more memorable.
  • Utilize text overlays and captions: Text can be a powerful tool to emphasize key points, offer translations, or add humor. Use it effectively to enhance your video’s message and accessibility.
  • End with a call to action: Don’t leave viewers hanging. Tell them what you want them to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, subscribing to your channel, or engaging in the comments.


  • First impressions matter: Your thumbnail is the first thing viewers see. Make it visually appealing, intriguing, and representative of your video’s content.
  • Use high-quality images: Avoid blurry or pixelated thumbnails. Choose clear and vibrant images that pop out from the feed.
  • Add text overlays: Briefly describe your video’s content or highlight a key takeaway. Use concise and engaging wording that piques viewers’ curiosity.
  • Experiment with different styles: Try different color schemes, fonts, and layouts to find what resonates best with your audience.
  • Test and iterate: Track which thumbnails perform better and use that data to refine your strategy for future videos.

Additional Strategic Considerations:

  • Utilize hashtags: Research and incorporate relevant hashtags to increase discoverability and attract new viewers.
  • Post at optimal times: Analyze your audience demographics and activity patterns to schedule your IGTV uploads for maximum visibility.
  • Promote your IGTV content: Share your video across your other social media platforms and website to drive traffic and engagement.
  • Interact with your audience: Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in discussions to foster a community around your IGTV channel.
  • Analyze performance: Regularly track your IGTV analytics to understand what content resonates with your audience and identify areas for improvement.
What is IGTV? Instagram TV. Instagrams answer to YouTube

IGTV Content Strategy Framework: Building a Strong Foundation for Success

Creating high-quality IGTV content that engages viewers and converts them into loyal followers requires a strategic approach. This IGTV content strategy framework provides a roadmap for planning, creating, and optimizing your video content to achieve your desired results.

1. Define Your Goals:

  • What do you want to achieve with your IGTV content? Is it to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, increase sales, or generate leads?
  • Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your videos? Understanding their demographics, interests, and pain points is crucial for crafting content that resonates with them.
  • Set clear KPIs: Define measurable metrics to track your progress towards your goals. This could include views, likes, comments, shares, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

2. Develop Your Content Pillars:

  • Establish key themes and topics that align with your overall brand message and audience interests. This will provide a foundation for consistent and relevant content creation.
  • Balance educational, entertaining, and promotional content: Offer valuable information, inspire your audience, and subtly promote your products or services.
  • Diversify your content format: Experiment with different video formats like tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, live Q&A sessions, product demonstrations, and vlogs.

3. Plan and Schedule Your Content:

  • Create a content calendar to plan your IGTV video uploads in advance. This helps ensure consistency and prevents last-minute scrambling.
  • Research trending topics and events relevant to your niche. Incorporating timely content can increase engagement and attract new viewers.
  • Batch your video creation process to save time and resources. Film multiple videos in one session and schedule them for release throughout the week or month.

4. Optimize Your Video Production:

  • Invest in quality audio and video equipment: Ensure your videos are visually appealing and clear to watch.
  • Use engaging editing techniques: Add music, sound effects, transitions, and text overlays to keep viewers captivated.
  • Optimize video length for engagement: Aim for videos between 5-10 minutes, but adjust based on your audience and content.
  • Craft compelling titles and descriptions: Clearly communicate the value proposition of your video and entice viewers to watch.
  • Use relevant hashtags: Research and incorporate relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.

5. Promote and Engage:

  • Share your IGTV videos across your other social media platforms and website.
  • Run targeted ads to reach a wider audience.
  • Utilize Instagram Stories and feed posts to promote your IGTV content.
  • Collaborate with other creators in your niche for cross-promotion.
  • Respond to comments and questions to build a community and encourage engagement.
  • Analyze your performance regularly and adapt your strategy based on data-driven insights.

6. Adapt and Refine:

  • Track your progress towards your goals and analyze your video performance.
  • Identify what’s working well and what needs improvement.
  • Adapt your content strategy based on your findings and audience feedback.
  • Be willing to experiment and try new things to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Additional Tools and Resources:

  • Instagram Insights: Track your IGTV video performance and gain valuable audience insights.
  • Hashtagify.me: Research and find relevant hashtags for your IGTV videos.
  • Canva: Create eye-catching thumbnails and graphics for your IGTV content.
  • InShot: Edit and enhance your IGTV videos with ease.
  • Later: Schedule your IGTV videos and manage your social media presence effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What kind of content can I post on IGTV?

You can post a variety of video content on IGTV, including:

  • Tutorials and how-tos: Share your expertise and teach viewers how to do something new.
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses: Offer viewers a peek into your world and connect with them on a personal level.
  • Live Q&A sessions: Interact with your audience in real-time and answer their questions.
  • Product demonstrations: Showcase your products and services and highlight their benefits.
  • Vlogs: Share your daily life and experiences with viewers.
  • Interviews: Interview other creators, experts, or influencers in your field.
  • Educational content: Provide viewers with valuable knowledge and insights.
  • Music videos: Showcase your musical talents and share your music with the world.
  • Comedy sketches: Make people laugh with your hilarious content.
  • Challenges and trends: Participate in popular challenges and trends to engage your audience.

The possibilities are endless! Be creative and experiment with different formats to find what resonates best with your audience.

2. How long can my IGTV videos be?

Your IGTV videos can be up to 60 minutes long. However, research suggests optimal engagement for videos between 5-10 minutes.

3. What are the technical requirements for IGTV videos?

Your IGTV videos should be:

  • In MP4 format
  • Between 1080×1920 and 4096×4096 in resolution
  • 9:16 aspect ratio
  • Less than 600MB in size

4. How can I promote my IGTV videos?

There are several ways to promote your IGTV videos:

  • Share them on your Instagram feed and stories.
  • Use relevant hashtags.
  • Run targeted ads.
  • Collaborate with other creators.
  • Submit your videos to IGTV channels and communities.
  • Promote them on your other social media platforms and website.

5. How can I measure the success of my IGTV videos?

You can track the success of your IGTV videos using Instagram Insights. This tool provides you with metrics such as views, likes, comments, shares, and completion rate. You can also track your website traffic and conversions to see how your IGTV content is driving results.


IGTV is a powerful tool for businesses and creators alike. By creating high-quality, engaging content and promoting it effectively, you can reach a wide audience, achieve your marketing goals, and build a loyal following.


  • Define your goals and target audience.
  • Develop a consistent content strategy.
  • Invest in quality production.
  • Optimize your videos for engagement.
  • Promote your content across multiple channels.
  • Track your performance and adapt your strategy based on data.

Summary: Will IGTV be successful?

In the near future, IGTV will be successful. Perhaps not as successful as YouTube in the next few years, but it does have potential to be more successful than YouTube over the next decade.

As the popularity of mobile devices becomes greater and greater, the increase in people using IGTV may well increase too. Enjoy!

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