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4 min read

Is IGTV on the Rise? Everything You Need to Know About Instagram TV

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IGTV has been here for some time now. It’s seen a lot of bangs and a lot of busts in it’s short life - but after just over a year of trial and error, Instagram has finally perfected this video format and it’s yielding excellent results for brands, influencers, and video enthusiasts. 

New York-based lifestyle publisher Thrillist saw a 29x increase in their average video performance through IGTV. Buzzfeed routinely hits over half a million views on it’sIGTV videos (as opposed to 150k views on an average on its regular IG videos). 

Brands are quickly catching on that IGTV generates great ROI on Instagram.

And we’re not just talking about big brands with big budgets. Smaller brands and influencers have seen a huge surge in their engagement levels with IGTV videos. Emily Henderson, interior design blogger, routinely sees over 100k views on her IGTV videos. 

IGTV vs. other video platforms

With  59% of adults (18 to 29 years old) using Instagram, and 75% of them taking action of some kind on Instagram (looking at brand posts, visiting brand’s websites, etc), you’d be hard-pressed to find a platform with such a healthy user base. 

Add to the fact that video is going to dominate the world by 2022 and 53.4% of marketers see Instagram video as crucial to their strategies, IGTV is the place to be in 2019 and onwards.  

Video specs for IGTV

Before you start shooting for Instagram TV, here are all the technical nitty gritties you need to keep in mind when creating content for IGTV.

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.

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.


Stuck for ideas? This is how brands are using IGTV creatively

Now that we’re through with the technical bit of creating IGTV videos, let’s get down to the creative part of the process - deciding what kind of videos you can create for this platform. 

Since its launch in last June, brands have been experimenting with several different video types and formats. 

Let’s take a look at some of them to get our creative wheels whirring. 


Repurpose old content like Gary V

When IGTV came out initially, you could only publish video in vertical format, which forced people to create brand spanking new content just for IGTV. Needless to say, a lot of brands shied away from creating content for IGTV and focused on other video platforms. 

Now that you can upload a vertical or a horizontal video, it’s become extremely easy to post video content on IGTV - if nothing else, you can easily repurpose your longer videos on IGTV. 

That’s exactly what Gary V, king of repurposing content, does. 

He publishes a new episode on his vlog every day, and then repurposes it for IGTV (along with other video platforms). 


To make it seem as though you’ve put in a lot of effort into it,

  • Create aesthetically pleasing cover images - blurry stills from the video are a big no-no

  • Create a great intro and outro just for IGTV

  • Make sure your titles are succinct, descriptive, and relate to that particular IGTV video - instead of ‘Keynote speech at INBOUND19’, ‘Repurpose your content in 15 different ways’ sounds better and makes your IGTV video seem original and not repurposed.

How-to videos like REI, Sephora, Pottery Barn

How many times have you wasted hours upon hours watching food tutorials, skin care routines, DIY home decor tutorials? 

I can safely say, too many. 

How-to videos are really popular on social media. According to WyzOwl's 2018 Video Marketing Statistics Report, 72% of people prefer to learn about a product or service through video - and that’s where you come in with a fun how-to IGTV video and reach out to all these people searching for how-to videos in your niche.  

REI, Sephora, Pottery Barn are all creating fun little tutorials in their niche, averaging 2 minutes, for IGTV. While similar videos are available on their Facebook and YouTube accounts, why go there when you can watch the same thing on Instagram now?

REI’s uploads short, mouth-watering survival food tutorials.


Sephora routinely uploads short and sweet self-care, skin-care and beauty tutorials.

Pottery Barn’s IGTV is mostly dominated by interior decor and holiday tips and tricks. 



Tip: Make sure to add a cliffhanger at 60 seconds so your audience watches the entire video, instead of just the 60 second preview that’s uploaded on your feed.   


Create a series of episodes Like WestElm and Benefit Cosmetics

Episodic content is doing really well on IGTV right now. 

“I think we will see a lot of brands starting to develop their own episodic series like how-tos, educational, behind-the-scenes, and much more.” 

Devika Rao, president of O’Neill Communications.

Think interviews with influencers, series of FAQs, branded episodic content, and the likes. 

WestElm’s has created a Q and A series for IGTV, ‘In The Haute Seat’, where they interview different guests in each of their episodes. They’re light-hearted and fun - perfect for Instagram.  

I love Benefit’s BOSS BROWS series on IGTV. It’s interesting, it’s inspiring, and it makes you want to buy Benefit’s brow pencil and become a BROWBOSS.

Treat IGTV like Netflix and upload your episode every week at the same time. 

Don’t forget to cross promote your IGTV videos to get even more traction and build momentum

There are several ways you can promote IGTV through Instagram without making too much of an effort. 

You can,

  • Link to the IGTV video from your Instagram Stories  

  • Share one minute previews of your IGTV videos to your Instagram feed and profile. Users will be automatically prompted to watch the remaining video on IGTV

  • Share IGTV videos to your connected Facebook page. 

To gather even more steam, you can post a countdown on your stories before uploading your IGTV video - it works even better in the case of episodic content. You can upload a super-short (couple of seconds) teaser on your social channels with a reminder.

Go for it

We’re quickly heading for a video-first world; if you’re not utilizing the power of video on social media, you’re missing out big time. 

IGTV is an excellent way to engage some percentage of the 1 billion people using Instagram every single month - remember, videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and 2.1x the amount of comments on Instagram. 

So go for it. Experiment with different types of videos on IGTV and see what works. Keep experimenting, testing, and creating content that your audience loves.  A great way to experiment is by sharing your video via Wipster to your team or peers for feedback before you publish. Sign up for a free plan to get started.



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