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IGTV for companies

Instagram TV – What Companies Need to Know to Get Started

Viola Schweizer
Feb 4, 2019

IGTV is the latest feature from the popular photo-sharing platform, Instagram. Read what the new feature is all about, how it can boost your brand's visibility, and how it can increase your audience's engagement.

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Instagram – more than just cat videos and sunsets.

On June 20, 2018, the time had come – Instagram exceeded the 1 billion mark of active users worldwide. Just over half of them use the photo platform daily. This makes Instagram the second-most used social network after Facebook.

A world full of pictures: That's Instagram.

Their story format, in particular, has been a hit with users. Continuous development and exciting content ensure that 400 million users view stories every day. And there’s no end to the platform’s growth in sight, as that number has increased by over 100 million since November 2017. 

In any case, the typical Instagram user is very active: Every day, over 4.2 billion “likes” are distributed on the photo platform, and more than 95 million photos and videos are shared. 

IGTV Facts rdyThese figures speak volumes – Instagram is on the road to success.

But despite Instagram's impressive growth over the past five years, the social network still has to contend with the assumption that its main use is for elaborately-staged pictures of food, cat videos, and sunsets. This view of a network that has earned its place in the hall of social media fame in the shortest possible time is, however, more than just outdated!

How important Instagram has become as a marketing platform can be seen from the development of global advertisers: Over two million companies are already actively switching video ads to Instagram. 

And the users seem to welcome this, as 80% of them follow at least one brand or company. And Instagram's brand engagement is higher than any other platform: 10 times higher than Facebook,54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter!

IGTV: That's behind the new feature.

With its own version of the story function, Instagram has already successfully superseded Snapchat – now YouTube and other video services are left on their toes. Since June 21, 2018, the new Instagram TV feature (also known as IGTV) has been available, with which the photo platform is taking a significant step in the direction of a video platform: with IGTV, users are able to share videos up to 60 minutes in length.

Instagram TV is here: Instagram released the new feature.

IGTV is a new feature within the well-known Instagram app, but it can also be downloaded as a stand-alone app for Android and iOS

IGTV Goolge Play StoreColorful and varied: this is how IGTV presents itself on Google Play.

Each Instagram user can open his own IGTV channel and share videos with his subscribers. Instagram members using IGTV can share significantly longer videos with their followers than was possible through stories (maximum of 15 seconds) or video posts (maximum of 60 seconds). 

While most Instagram TV users have a 10-minute time limit, verified accounts can upload video material with a maximum length of one hour. It’s only a matter of time before Instagram extends this feature to the rest of its users.
Good to know: In contrast to the 24-hour expiration of Instagram Stories or Instagram Live videos, IGTV uploads don’t expire.

In order to view IGTV content, the specific app is not absolutely necessary, as it can also be viewed within the regular Instagram interface. A special button on the Instagram home page was introduced for this purpose, which constantly draws attention to the latest videos.

When opening the new feature (top right in the newsfeed) or directly from the app, the videos are played automatically.

IGTV-in-Instagram-AppAlso possible in the Instagram app: The IGTV button indicates when there is something new.

The videos are divided into the following categories: 

  1. For you: As an Instagram user, you automatically follow the channels of the users whose posts you have subscribed to on Instagram.
  2. Following: Interest-based content recommendations based on the likes of the respective Instagram account. 
  3. Popular: In this category, the videos with the largest view numbers are shown.
  4. History: Similar to YouTube, it is possible to select a video that you have already viewed to watch again.

igtvoverviewInviting you to take a look: The view of InstagramTV channels. 

   The likening and commenting is very familiar and the videos can easily be shared with other users via direct messages. Not infrequently, particularly eye-catching videos even become viral hits.

The advantages of IGTV.

Wondering why you should utilize Instagram TV? We have the answers.

#1 Mobile usage is on the rise.

While people spend less time with traditional media like television every year, the consumption of digital videos continues to grow. By 2021, half of all video consumption is projected to be via mobile devices. With its vertical full-screen format, Instagram TV has been designed for mobile use from the outset to fit the preferences of its users. In addition, the latest GfK study underscores the importance of mobile video ads.

#2 The power lies in simplicity.

Another big plus is the simplicity: videos are played instantly without having to search. It’s no longer necessary to ask users to click bio links  with IGTV, users can spend time on the channel without having to navigate elsewhere. 

#3 Existing contacts.

As a platform with over a billion monthly users, companies on Instagram have a great chance of attracting users' attention. Although IGTV is a new platform, it is closely linked to Instagram, which means you can continue to appeal to your fixed subscriber base.

#4 Brand content is welcome.

While commercials, such as those that appear before YouTube videos, still have high skip rates, Instagram proves that brand content is readily accepted by users if it fits into the user's feed. No other channel accepts advertising as much as Instagram. This is due in part to the successful native integration of the ads in feeds and stories, and to the incredibly accurate informationmade possible by Facebook's treasure trove of data. 

Come aboard.

It all sounds good, but what's the best way to get started? 

Your first steps.

First of all, you need your own channel to distribute your videos. Instagram’s step-by-step guide will help you create your channel. 

InstagramTV Kanal EroeffnenReach your destination in just a few seconds: this is how you open your channel.

You can upload your videos either directly via the mobile app or via the browser version on your desktop. A thumbnail is required for each video.

Instagram TV in less than 10 minutes – Aaron from BreaktheInternet shows you how it’s done.

What do I need to keep in mynd?

Even if the name Instagram TV makes you think of the standard TV format, the traditional horizontal ratio of 16:9 is not necessary for Instagram. As demonstrated by the story format, the focus here is on vertical content.

Guidelines for a successful upload to IGTV:

  • File size: maximum 3.6 Gigabyte
  • File format: MP4
  • Video format: 9:16 (vertical)
  • Video thumbnail: JPG 
Within your video, you can place Call to Actions, i.e. direct your viewers to other content via a direct link. There aren’t always advertisements on IGTV, but there are already rumors about the monetization of the feature.

What kind of content should I post?

One of the easiest ways to get started with IGTV as quickly and effectively as possible is crossposting. Instead of publishing your videos exclusively on YouTube or Facebook, you can now upload them to Instagram TV—provided the format is correct. However, the more valuable route is to produce content exclusively for Instagram TV

Whichever option you choose, it is important that the video content offered on IGTV matches your company culture.

You don't have to be a TV producer to discover the kind of content that’s best-best-received by your target audience. However, it becomes clear that Instagram's IGTV wants to establish itself as an entertainment channel rather than a channel for short, personal updates. If you're unsure what content your followers want to see on your channel, you can just ask your followers! Throughthe comment function, you can get answers to your questions pretty quickly.

4 tips for successful Instagram TV projects.

To help you get started with Instagram TV, we have summarized the most important factors in reaching success.

#1 A look behind the scenes makes brands more approachable.

What already applies to Instagram Stories is also applicable to IGTV. Instagram users love it when they can catch a glimpse behind the scenes of their favorite brands or when personal aspects of the people behind a company are shown. While the stars Lisa and Lena take their followers on IGTV with them to their first surf lesson, the drugstore chain DM presents exclusive impressions of its own beauty fair, Glow. Think about which insights from your company might be interesting to your followers.

#2 Examples of product applications provide notable added value.

Instagram TV, with its potential for hour-long videos, offers enough space for detailed product presentations and information. In tutorials or DIY videos, you can give tips for optimal useage and present your products in direct application. Instead of discussing the mere advantages of a product, the added value of your product can be presented and communicated in an exciting way.

#3 Series developed for IGTV provide a loyal fanbase.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are obsessively waiting for the latest episode of their favorite series? With all the content we encounter every day, recurring formats provide orientation. If we liked the first episode, we'll be happy to eagerly await the next. Create your own series format for Instagram TV and make sure the material continues to cast a spell over the viewer.

#4 A consistent design increases recognition.

Media companies such as ZEIT Online or the magazine With Pleasure, design elements are utilized in IGTV videos, which are repeated again and again in all subsequent videos. Logo insertions or clear color concepts ensure optimum recognition value for your content.

These 6 brands do it right.

Besides influencers, some enterprises jumped on the IGTV bandwagon, and some have already found success. Here are 6 impressive examples.  


Spotify uses Instagram’s new feature to publish exclusive Sizzle reels of its artists. However, the music-streaming service places less emphasis on the quality of video and more on personalization. In doing so, a particularly emotional connection to the audience can be created.

Spotify InstagramTV VideoCloser: Spotify uses Instagram TV to connect its artists more personally with their fans.


This brand also sets a good example. Shortly after the release of IGTV, Airbnb began using the new feature. The community marketplace for booking and renting accommodations uses its videos to promote the various locations of its homes by introducing them and revealing their most attractive features.

airbnb InstagramTV VideoMore tourism thanks to IGTV: Airbnb presents the most impressive places.

Vox Media.

The US-based company uses Instagram TV to publish its latest news in the form of short and crisp videos. Vox Media is a great example of the shift toward video in news and media. The brand is entering an area that is still relatively undeveloped with Instagram, therefore promising even more success.

Vox InstagramTV VideoThe latest news in a nutshell: that's the Vox Media concept.

Petra F. Collins.

The Canadian photographer and filmmaker, Petra Collins, uses IGTV to show short clips to arouse curiosity about her new horror short film with Selena Gomez. The teasers are about 30 seconds long and show, among other things, a creepy scene in which the main actress sucks on an eyeball. The extraordinary: The short film will make its debut on Instagram TV.

Petra Collins IGTV VideoPetra F. Collins provides with her gloomy insights into her new film for her target group.

What's Gaby Cooking?

Let's not kid ourselves—recipe videos are not new, and they’re also part of Gaby's day-to-day business as a food blogger. For IGTV, however, she transformed her most popular Instagram Story videos into small, polished cooking instructions for the new TV feature. The following screenshot shows an excerpt from her tutorial for an Avocado Kale Caesar Salad.

WhatsGabyCooking IGTV VideoThe most popular Instagram Stories packed into a glamorous format: this is how the WhatsGabyCooking channel presents itself.

National Geographic.

Inspiring entertainment with captivating documentaries and documentary series – that’s what National Geographic stands for. For the launch of IGTV, the brand shared the first episode of "One Strange Rock,” a TV show for Natgeo TV directed by Darren Aranofsky and with Will Smith as narrator on the new platform. The show is 47 minutes long and includes interviews with astronauts, including Peggy Wilson and Chris Hadfield, who talk about their perspective on Earth.

National Geographic InstagramTV VideoAs usual, National Geographic shows spectacular images – optimized for IGTV in portrait format.

Start now.

Be one of the first companies to join us. By sharing long-format videos, you can tell deeper stories and get closer to your audience. Instagram TV is a great way for companies with little experience in video marketing to benefit from the advantages of a promising new platform right from the start.

We are happy to support you in finding ideas, conception, and production of your new Instagram TV videos » 

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