IGTV Basics: Everything to know about Instagram TV in 2021

IGTV Basics

Instagram TV, more prevalently known as IGTV, is a format or feature which enables distribution, publication and sharing of long-form video content on the platform.

Instagram launched the feature IGTV at an event in San Francisco in June 2018 featuring many of the Instagram creators who made IGTV great. Instagram is now a global community of one billion since it launched in 2010. The community is now developed & flourished as there are 1.16 billion Instagram users estimated as of Q3 2020 (Hootsuite/We Are Social).

To make an IGTV video, go to Instagram App or IGTV App from your android phone or desktop, Tap the ‘+’ button in the top-right corner, now select a video 1 minute or longer from your phone gallery and hit Next. Then choose a video’s cover image from one of its frames or from gallery and hit Next. Fill up the title & description box, post a Preview of your video and tap Post. Voila! You just posted an IGTV video.

Top features of IGTV

IGTV Top features
  • A format for every voice

According to Cisco, there will be 1.9 billion internet video users, representing 80% of internet traffic, by the end of 2021. The good news is, any ordinary video making lover can be a creator and upload his/her own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to become successful.

  • Helps you to upload longer videos

You can upload long-form video content up to 15 minutes from mobile.

  • A broadcasting network for diverse channels

Similar to traditional TV, IGTV has channels. It has creators as the different channels. These channels are powerful publications for video storytelling.

  • You need to follow the creator to watch IGTV videos

If you want to watch a creator’s videos, you need to follow him/her on Instagram.

  • You can preview your IGTV video

In 2019, Instagram also permitted creators to post one-minute previews of their IGTV videos on their feeds to improve search presence & get audience attention without them downloading the app. Gain benefit of Instagram’s Preview feature and make sure to include captions on your preview videos, as most viewers watch videos on Instagram without audio.

  • Leverage series mechanism to play marketing strategies

Instagram more recently announced the IGTV series feature. Enhancing the ability to make a seriatim video series, it gives a snowball effect way to boost your Instagram marketing strategy. IGTV helps marketers create their own long-form video series on Instagram. It further allows creators to make a consistent series of videos to be released on a consistent cadence (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)

  • Build engagement

It is a format where videos can be shared and viewed and a much better prospect to tell engaging and compelling stories through video which increase engagement in terms of likes, views and comments too. Many creators even choose to buy Instagram followers, that are genuine IG users to boost their organic engagement.

  • Collaborate with influencers

At most, 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded its standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since launch (Source- Think with Google). It is great opportunity to attract influencers to work with to promote your marketing content.

  • Grow your Instagram marketing strategy

According to the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 50% of marketers are producing videos on YouTube and Facebook, 38% are using Instagram Stories, and 26% are using native Instagram videos like IGTV. Creating a strategy will give you projections of direction on where to focus your time and energy

Also read: How to Create Instagram Stories like a Pro in 2021

How to make IGTV video

How to make IGTV You must make videos under recommended IGTV dimensions.

Instagram allows time duration from 15 seconds to up to 15 minutes of video if you upload from mobile, but ranges that to 1 hour if you upload from the web. You need to follow the basic video spec information when creating longer videos.

  • Video length: At least 1 minute long

  • Maximum video length when uploading from phone: 15 minutes

  • Maximum video length when uploading from web:1 hour

  • File format: MP4

  • For vertical videos: uphold an aspect ratio of 9:16.

  • For horizontal videos: sustain an aspect ratio of 16:9

  • For videos shorter than 10-15 minutes: the maximum file size is 650 MB

  • For videos up to 60 minutes: the maximum file size is 3.6 GB

  • Minimum frame rate:30 FPS (frames per second)

  • Minimum resolution:720 pixels

  • Cover photo size: 420px by 654px (or 1:1.55 ratio)

How to make high quality IGTV videos to attract target audience

High quality IGTV videos
  • Shoot in a place with optimal lighting

You can choose sunrise or sunset time to capture your footage. You can also, use lighting devices for making videos when mainly shooting indoors or in poorly lit locations

  • Use a tripod

Unstable, webby & shaky footage is a big no for any IGTV video because they can divert viewers and cause them to drop off at once regardless of usefulness of your content. A tripod is a three-legged stand that supports your camera. They or Gimbal stabilizers comes in picture when stabilizing your videos.

  • Use a good microphone

Audio quality is actually significant as it must complement your video. Even after recording high-quality footages, it will be difficult to attract viewers if the sound quality is terrible. Since, the internal microphones of the video cameras do not do the trick, you have to consent your speech with an external microphone.

How to upload to IGTV from phone

How to upload IGTV from phone

Step 1- Open Instagram. Tap the ‘+’ button in the top-right corner to add an IGTV video to your channel. Click on IGTV video. You can now upload a video from your gallery. Remember, IGTV now supports both vertical and horizontal videos format.

Step 2- Select a video 60 seconds or longer and hit Next

Step 3- Select a video’s cover image from one of its frames. Or, you may choose an image from your gallery. That means, you can upload your own custom cover photo or select a thumbnail from your video. The cover photo will appear on your channel page and in the IGTV categories, so make it eye-catchy and tap Next.

Step 4- Fill up the mandatory title field and non-mandatory description for your video.

Step 5- Now Post a Preview of your video on your newsfeed and Make Visible on Facebook to promote it on the platform to get it exposed by wider target audience.

Step 6- You can also add the video to an IGTV series from here.

Step 7- you can also include clickable links to your video descriptions. When a user clicks on the link in your description, he/she will be taken to a webpage outside of the Instagram. After including an attractive title and description. Tap Post in the top right. Bravo! You just posted an IGTV video from your app!

Also read: 9 Tips to Craft the Perfect Instagram Bio

How to upload an IGTV video from the web?

How to upload IGTV from web

To upload an IGTV video from the web, follow the simple steps:

Step 1- Go to www.instagram.com and go to your profile. Then select “IGTV.”

Step 2- Click on “Upload” and select the video you want to upload. You can drag & drop a video file of 1 to 60 minutes long, of landscape or portrait, an MP4 file and less than 3.6 GB. Then choose a cover for your video, it must be a JPG or PNG file. The minimum recommended size is 492 x 762 pixels.

Step 3- Next, fill out the details of your video by adding the title and description and choosing a cover. Now click Post a Preview on your Feed and connect with your Facebook page.

Step 4- Click on “Post” and voila! You just uploaded an IGTV video!



IGTV, is a new app for watching long-form, vertical or horizontal videos from the Instagram creators you follow. Unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t partial to one minute. As an alternative, each video can be up to an hour long.

How to upload to IGTV App

How to upload to IGTV app

Step 1- Download the IGTV app from the App Store or from play store.

Step 2- Sign up to the app or head to your native Instagram account/profile)

Step 3- Open settings gear icon in the right-hand corner, and then click “create channel”. Voila! You can now upload your longer videos easily.

Step 4- Tap the + button in the upper right corner.

Step 5- Choose a video 60 seconds or longer and tap Next.

Step 6- Select your video’s cover image from one of its screenshots or from gallery. Hit Next.

Step 7- Enter the title and description for your video. You can Post a Preview of your video on your newsfeed and Make Visible on Facebook.

Step 8- Tap Post in the top right. And great! You just posted an IGTV video from your app!

Also read: How to Make Instagram Story Highlights in 2021

IGTV series

IGTV series

Organizing & linking your videos into series increases the multiplies the views of each video. Instagram sets the entire series on auto-play, when your followers watch one video. This mechanism helps you to promote binge watching of your content.

How to create an IGTV series

If you want to create an IGTV series on your app or your IGTV app, follow the below steps.

Step 1- Head to the window where you fill out your title and description.  Now, tap, Add to Series.

Step 2- Create Your First IGTV Series.

Step 3- Enter your series’ title and description.

Step 4- Tap the blue checkmark in the upper right corner.

Step 5- Select the series you want your video to be a part of.

Then tap Done. Voila! You just formed a new IGTV series.

How to analyse your IGTV performance

IGTV analysis

To track your IGTV analytics in Instagram:

Step 1- Head to the video you want to analyse.

Step 2- Hit the three horizontal (iPhone) or vertical (Android) ellipsis (“…” icon) or dots at the bottom of the video.

Step3- Tap View Insights.

Now, you can view, in the app itself

  • Views

  • Likes

  • Comments

  • Direct messages

  • Saves

  • Account visits

  • Impressions

  • Reach

  • Interactions

  • Follows

You can also check out your audience retention rate, which is how many viewers watched your video till that particular time. Analytics also represents a drop-off graph, which shows you at what exact point viewers are drooping off from your video.

How do I save IGTV video as a draft?

How to save IGTV video as a draft

Presently the only IGTV video that you can save in draft folder on Instagram are your longer IGTV videos that are uploaded from a computer.

To save an IGTV video as a draft:

  1. Go to Instagram.com

  2. From your profile page hit the IGTV icon and then hit the blue tab “upload.”

  3. Upload your video, add a cover photo, title, and description.

  4. select save DRAFT.

To view your saved drafts:

  1. From your desktop, head to Instagram.com

  2. From your profile click the IGTV icon, then move to VIEW DRAFTS.

  3. You can edit or delete a draft by clicking the video and then click EDIT VIDEO or DELETE.

  4. If you want to post a draft, click the video and then click EDIT VIDEO and then POST. Bravo! Your draft video is live now!

Also read: How to Create a Perfect Instagram Post

Strategies that you could implement in optimize your IGTV videos

IGTV videos Strategies

Use attractive title & compelling description

Include an intriguing, concise, eye-catchy, persuasive title with irresistible & compelling description focusing mainly on what your content is basically about. When you post a preview to your feed the “title” appears foremost and plays like a caption. Your description must show your value proposition. Spring your followers a motive to watch.

Add clickable links in your description

You must add relevant links in your description box. These links are only clickable when a viewer is reading the description inside your IGTV.

Select a thumbnail/cover image wisely

You can select any frame/screenshot from the video. You just need to browse the frames by slowly sliding your finger along the video footage at the bottom. Or choose an image from your gallery.

Don’t make your intro very long

It is a decent idea to add an intro to your video, but a too long intro can be the main reason for viewers to swipe to the next video. Hence, you get to your point swiftly.

Leverage matching colours when adding a background or captions

Instagram is a pictorial platform where colours play a gigantic role in attracting viewers. IGTV videos are have the same case. If you need to edit videos with text or background, you must use corresponding colours and fonts.

I hope you found this guide helpful in understanding, how to make IGTV videos. Feel free to share!