On the 20th June, Instagram made two big announcements:  

  1. The platform now boasts a global community of 1 billion monthly users. 
  2. It has launched the new exciting feature and app – IGTV. 

No idea what IGTV is? Let’s get you up to speed…  
What is IGTV? 
IGTV is a new platform that allows creators to post vertical, long-form videos on Instagram. It is available in a stand-alone app and within the native Instagram app.   
Much like YouTube, creators can have their own channels and most importantly, anyone can be a creator. Creating your own channel must be done via the IGTV app. 
During the announcement of IGTV, Instagram stated that teens are watching 40% less TV than they did 5 years ago and on Instagram people have watched 60% more video in the last year.  
Instagram emphasised that IGTV is ‘built for how you actually use your phone’. IGTVs aim is to alter the way in which users experience traditional TV and is updating this experience to fit with the current trends.  

What are the features? 
The most exciting feature of IGTV is the ability to post up to one-hour-long videos (videos will be 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to one hour for larger accounts – eventually there will be no time limit). Users can comment, like and send videos to their friends in ‘Direct’.  
If you want to be a creator yourself, you can upload your videos via the IGTV app or the web. 
As a user, videos start playing automatically as soon as you open the app. Users no longer have to search for content. You can swipe up to discover more through the ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’ tabs.  
When you follow a creator on Instagram you will automatically gain access to their IGTV channel and their entire content library will be available to you. 
Currently, there are no advertising options available. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “right now, we are focused on building engagement.” 

What metrics can I get from my IGTV videos? 
Much like Instagram Insights, IGTV allows creators to obtain key metrics from their videos. This can be done by going to a selected video, clicking the three dots and ‘view insights’.  
You can find the following metrics: 

  • Views  
  • Likes  
  • Comments  
  • Average % of video watched 

How should IGTV videos be formatted? 
When creating a video on IGTV, these are the format settings you will need.  

  • File size: up to 3.6GB 
  • File type: .MP4 
  • Video size: 9:16 

Has it worked for sports federations?  
One federation that has taken advantage of this new platform is FEI. They’ve already used the platform to broadcast segments of their monthly feature-length programme ‘Equestrian World’. After 24 hours of the segment going live on IGTV, the video generated: 

  • 5.9views 
  • An engagement rate of 2.8% (% of viewers liking or commenting on the video) 
  • An average completion rate that is 3x higher than the same clip posted on Facebook.  

Should I be on IGTV?  
It’s certainly worth exploring.  
This new platform seems to be going about their mission of bringing users ‘closer to the people and things they love’ in the right way.  
It’s too early to say that IGTV is a real competitor for YouTube as a long-form content broadcaster, but early signs are promising. IGTV is looking like a platform that can garner greater engagement from fans and its functionality favours the average smartphone user. Whether it can still generate the same levels of engagement after the honeymoon ends remains to be seen.