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IGTV: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram’s Video Platform

Let’s start with the basics, what is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s way of disrupting the traditional TV experience and updating it for a modern, mobile experience. It’s the perfect place to browse for snackable content from your favourite creators and brands. Traditional TV is in decline and it’s estimated that by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic in the U.S. and where the U.S. goes, the U.K. usually follows.

IGTV differs from Instagram stories and videos on the Instagram grid because of the longer video length:

  • Instagram Stories: 15 seconds
  • Instagram Grid: 3 –  60 seconds
  • IGTV: 1 – 60 minutes

What are the video upload requirements for IGTV?

The maximum length of your IGTV video depends on where you upload it:

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

The video file type 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 a minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
  • The maximum filesize for videos that are 10 minutes or less is 650MB. The maximum filesize for videos up to 60 minutes is 3.6GB.

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 and you will need to consider how your image – especially if it contains text – sits on the grid if you choose to share a preview of your IGTV content.

For more details on design spec and advice, please take a look at our guide to social media asset sizes for 2020.

You can watch IGTV videos in the Instagram app, in the standalone IGTV app, or by clicking the IGTV button on someone’s Instagram profile. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, you’ll get a notification in the native Instagram app.

Instagram curates videos for you based on your interests and who you follow, and you can also watch trending videos on the “popular” channel! And just like you can with Instagram Stories, you can also share IGTV videos to your friends through Instagram Direct.

So is IGTV relevant for my business?

If social media is a part of your digital marketing strategy, then IGTV should probably be considered. There are also no ads — yet — so you can’t just buy your way onto people screens (there is social media advertising for IG stories and IG feed though). While this is bad news for media planners, it’s an opportunity to deliver authentic content directly from the brand to the consumer and for it to actually be seen as the platform isn’t saturated yet.

We love IGTV for having direct and informal conversations about a certain topic or showcasing some creative video – pretty much everything we love about YouTube and that’s important to note. IGTV is like YouTube, not Netflix. 

Despite “TV” in the name, you don’t need a big production budget to create good content. You still need to have some structure and basic editing know-how but on the whole, it is for fun and informal content. This means that it’s great for businesses and brands that are comfortable with having an open dialogue. For brands that need to be more protective of what they publish, you can still produce great content for your followers but it’s definitely not the place to put a traditional TV ad.

If you think longer-form video content on Instagram is a good idea, then we would recommend mapping out a content calendar to help build a programme of macro content that can be published consistently. Just like with a YouTube channel, it doesn’t look great if you post once every six months. IGTV can be grouped too, so just as with your highlights on Instagram, think about the key content categories you want to deliver.


IGTV is intuitive to start and addictive to follow. It’s a great platform for more detailed content but as it can be very long-form, more planning of what to shoot and how to edit may be required.


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