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An illustrated image of the IGTV logo against a gradient background.

Instagram Video: How to Use IGTV for Your Social Media Strategy

Khalipha Ntloko

Mar 25, 2022

Now more than ever, video content has become the key to not just engaging with audiences but also jumping onto trends, educating online communities about your product or service, and showcasing your brand's personality. Knowing the ins and outs of video on different platforms is an important part of social media management today. One that marketers should get comfortable with is Instagram Videos, formerly known as IGTV.

If you want to showcase long-form videos on Instagram, you'll need to use Instagram Videos. There, you can reach and engage with your followers with content that keeps their attention for longer than 15 or 60 seconds. In this blog, we'll break down what Instagram Videos is, how to use it, and how to make the most of videos on the platform.

Table of Contents

What is IGTV and What is Instagram Video?

Instagram Video, previously called IGTV or Instagram TV, is a feature that lets users and creators share long-form videos on the app. While videos on the Instagram feed are limited to a maximum of 90 seconds, or 15 seconds if they are eligible for ads, Instagram Videos can be up to 60 minutes long.

There was once a standalone IGTV app for Android and iOS (which is no longer available in the App Store), but now Instagram Video is part of the main Instagram platform. This lets creators share long-form video content that doesn't require audiences to leave the app to see them on competing channels and apps like YouTube.

person holding mobile phone with igtv on the screen

Where Did IGTV go?

In 2021, Instagram combined Feed Video, which let users share videos to the main app feed, and IGTV to create Instagram Video. A short while after, the company stopped supporting the IGTV app. 

The Benefits of Instagram Video

For brands, marketers, and creators, video content opens up new opportunities to enhance their social media marketing strategies. Instagram Videos offer many of the same benefits of long-form video content but with a more streamlined, social media experience for the viewer. Here are a few benefits that you stand to gain from Instagram Video: 

Increased visibility for products and services

In 2020, nine out of 10 Instagram users watched videos on the platform every week. And since the 2021 announcement from Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, stating that the platform would be focusing more on video content, the Instagram algorithm has favored video content, making it a great way to increase the visibility of your profile, content, products, and services.

Video previews in the main feed draw plenty of eyes to the Instagram Video itself. According to Social Media Examiner, brands like Sephora went from getting 60,000–80,000 views on their IGTV channel videos to over 1 million views almost overnight after they started showing IGTV previews in their feed. 

Provide valuable content for engagement

Video content is one of the keys to keeping your audience engaged with your brand. The more creative your Instagram Video is, the higher the chances of getting likes, comments, and shares. On YouTube, there are three video content types that tend to do well on the platform and will also work on the Instagram app:

  • Product Review Videos
  • How-to Videos
  • Vlogs
  • Interviews
  • Testimonials

Creating videos like this for Instagram Video can get you great engagement and help new consumers discover your brand. It's the perfect place for longer, more detailed content; save the short videos for your Reels or TikTok and Snapchat channels. 

What Are the Instagram Video and IGTV dimensions?

When uploading a video to Instagram Video, make sure it meets these specifications and requirements:

  • Length: Videos that are 10 minutes or less have a maximum file size of 650MB. Videos that are between 10 minutes and 60 minutes (the maximum length long) must have a file size that is 3.6GB or less. 
  • Aspect ratio: between 1.91:1 and 9:16
  • Minimum frame rate: 30 frames per second
  • Minimum resolution: 720 pixels
  • Recommended video format: MP4
  • Recommended cover photo size: 420px by 654px or 1:1.55 ratio

The IGTV dimensions, for both horizontal and vertical video, were the following: 

  • Length: 15 minutes (maximum) when uploading via mobile and up to 60 minutes when uploading from desktop
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 (vertical or portrait) or 16:9 (horizontal or landscape)
  • Minimum resolution of 720 pixels
  • Video format: MP4
  • Cover image size: 420px by 654 px 

How to Make an IGTV Video

You can't make content for IGTV since Instagram got rid of the IGTV tab in 2021 and stopped supporting the standalone app in early 2022.

How to Upload a Video to Instagram

Here's a step-by-step guide to uploading an Instagram Video.

Step 1: Tap the plus sign (+) icon

Find it just to the right of center at the top of the home screen. 

Step 2: Select your video

Choose a video from your device's library or record one on the spot by tapping the camera icon. Then, tap 'Next'. You'll find it on the top right part of your screen.

Step 3: Make edits

Add a filter to your video by tapping the one you want from the choices at the bottom of your screen. You can also edit the length of your video by selecting the 'Trim' option and using the sliders to change where it begins and ends. When you're done, select 'Next'.

Step 4: Add finishing details

You can add a cover image to your video using the  button and choosing a picture in your device's library. Then select 'Done'. At this stage, you can add a caption, tag other accounts, add a location, or add the video to a series. 

Step 5: Check advanced settings

If your video doesn't have captions, tap 'Advanced settings' to turn auto-generated captions on. This is also where you can edit how your video cover photo shows up on your grid and turn commenting on and off.

Step 6: Share

After you tap 'Share' the video will show up on your followers' Feeds as a preview showing the first 60 seconds. They have to tap 'Keep watching' to see the rest. If you have a Facebook account linked to your Instagram profile, you can also share your video there.  

How Long Should an Instagram Video Be?

As always, the length of your video will depend on its subject and what you're making it for. Instagram Videos can be up to one hour long, but in most cases, unless your viewer is on a long flight, they probably won't watch at a single piece of content on their mobile device for that long.

The platform itself recommends that Instagram creators make videos that are short and entertaining. But if your video is 60 seconds or shorter, you could make a Reel. There's no tried and true Instagram Video length, but always trim unnecessary parts wherever you can.

Great Examples of Brands Using Long-form Video


Netflix uploaded an hour-long video promoting the new series of Riverdale. The video showed Riverdale star Cole Sprouse eating a cheeseburger. Yep, that’s it, a full 60 minutes just eating a cheeseburger…

The video is actually weirdly hypnotizing. A close up on Cole’s face, while he’s making eyes at the camera, makes it impossible to look away. A staggering 1M+ people have viewed the video since it was posted!


If the sensual burger eating didn’t do it for you, then BuzzFeed might have something more up your alley. BuzzFeed decided that a game of hamster football was the only thing worthy of their first post on this new platform.

Frustrating and yet addicting, you can’t look away as these hamsters slowly scurry across the pitch coming close to the goals posts but very rarely scoring. We can all take a lesson from this narrative — when in doubt, use cute animals.


Rather than creating new content, Gucci decided to repurpose old content on IGTV. They went back through their archives and uploaded every runway presentation since 2015. The videos have gained over 400,000 views in total and help reinforce a love for the brand and reinforced their stance as a thought leader by showcasing how they have shaped the fashion industry and trends.

National Geographic

As you would expect from NatGeo, they took things a bit more seriously and delivered content in a more traditional TV format. They uploaded an episode of ‘One Strange Rock,’ an award-winning TV show from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. The video was re-edited for the new vertical format and has already gained 1.32 million views.


To raise awareness for their new Worn Wear campaign, Patagonia created a long-form video showing multiple stories from various Patagonia customers. Each had a piece of Patagonia clothing that they had held onto for many years, creating sentimental value. The video resonated with their audience and connected with them on a personal level. The longer length of the video gave Patagonia a more effective way to tell these customer stories, going into more detail and holding their audience’s attention.

How to Get More Views on Your Instagram Video

So you've created your Instagram Video and published it to your account, but how do you get more views? Here are a few methods to try to boost that exposure.

Use hashtags

Instagram is one of the few video platforms where the more hashtags you have, the better if you want your video content to be seen and discovered. To increase the visibility of your Instagram Video, use hashtags within the description. This will help make your video discoverable to non-followers as well as your usual Instagram audience.

First impressions matter

When it comes to long-form video content, the key to getting views (as well as retaining the attention of your audience) lies in those first few seconds. Instagram Stories and Reels have proven how there's success in grabbing your audience's attention with short-form content; you'll need to apply this idea to the first 15-30 seconds of your video if you want to hook your audience and give them something to keep watching.

Share on Instagram Stories

To draw even more attention to your video, share it to your Instagram Story. Just keep in mind that Stories chops Instagram Videos up in 15-second chapters. This is not ideal for videos that are on the longer side.

Promote on Other Online Platforms

Make use of the other online platforms that you have a presence on to share your Instagram Video and get more views. Cross-posting to your Facebook account or Facebook Business Page, add the link to the video in a tweet, or embed it in a blog post.

Get posting!

Videos are a great way to boost engagement with your audience on Instagram and provide them with valuable content. Don't be afraid to add social media video into your marketing strategy to boost the visibility of your brand, products, and services. When you are ready to start accurately measuring the results of adding video to your social media marketing strategy, fill out the form below to learn more about how Meltwater's social media analytics solutions can help.