An Ultimate Guide to IGTV

IGTV is short for Instagram TV

Since the launch of Insta stories in 2016, more and more people are consuming video content on their phones. According to Cisco we can expect to see about 80% of internet traffic in the form of videos by the end of 2019. Meaning the majority of all mobile data traffic will be video content which means huge things for IGTV.

Youtube viewers already consume 1 billion hours of content a day so with IGTV being a less saturated platform now is a great time to start creating content for the site.

IGTV video is an app that can be used alone or in tandem with Instagram. It’s essentially Instagram’s answer to YouTube in that it’s designed for the mobile-optimized viewing of long-form videos.

The main difference between IGTV and Stories is that these videos are typically several minutes to even an hour in length. At this time, only the most popular, verified users are allowed to create the one-hour videos.

So what do you need to know

The next few points are the technical stuff – you probably want to skim to the VIDEO CONTENT section unless you are actually struggling to upload 🙂

Video Length

Videos must be at least one minute long. The maximum length your video can be is:

  • 15 minutes when uploading from a mobile device.
  • 60 minutes when uploading from the web.

Video File Type 

Videos must be in MP4 file format.

Video Resolution and Size

  • You can upload a vertical video with an aspect ratio of 9:16 or a horizontal video with an aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Videos should have a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) and minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
  • 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 3.6GB.

IGTV Video Content

There is a plethora of content that can be utilised on IGTV and because it is such a new platform it is still unclear what is performing the best at the moment. So now is a good time to test the waters and see what your audience responds best too.

Check out this blog post by Sked Social to see 9 great content ideas for IGTV which you can use to brain storm your episode plans.

Cover Photo Size

The recommended size for cover photos is 420px by 654px (or 1:1.55 ratio). Right now, you can’t edit your cover photo after you’ve uploaded it.

It is really important that you choose the right cover photo, you can either create a ‘cover’ that will be consistent across every episode you post, upload a separate image so that it looks cohesive in feed or choose a still from the video.

post your IGTV episode to your grid

You can post a preview of the first minute of content to your feed which is a great way of driving traffic to your IGTV channel. One thing to bare in mind is that it will crop your cover photo to be its traditional square 1:1

title and description

The next step is to enter a Title and Description for your IGTV video! The copy you place here is also your set caption if you post an IGTV preview to your Instagram Grid as well. You’re able to tag users, include hashtags, and any links you want to add for your audience! If you include any redirect links, your audience will be able to tap on it directly in the description box in IGTV, but the text of the link will be displayed in the caption on your Instagram Grid, and your audience won’t be able to tap on it. 


If you already know how to use hashtags on Instagram, you will know how to use them for IGTV. Be strategic, use only a few relevant ones, and put them in the video description for better SEO traction.

However it is worth noting that IGTV stories don’t currently appear in hashtag searches ‘yet’ but they can appear on the Explore page.

IGTV Analytics

Don’t forget to review your IGTV insights regularly to get a clear picture of how blogs are performing as well as to realign them with your key business goals. Remember, too, that this is a new platform, so if you see lower numbers than you expect, you may want to give it some time. 

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