Instagram recently revealed IGTV - a brand-new video based app, designed to work in sync with Instagram.

It’s Instagram’s boldest move since launching Instagram stories, and gives users the ability to create long-form content - in this case, videos that can last up to an hour.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is essentially Instagram TV – open the app and you are met with channels, each containing different episodes. The channels are hosted by everyday Instagram users, or creators, and the episodes are filmed and uploaded by the creators.

Unlike similar apps such as YouTube, you are instantly met with video content when you open the app or click through from Instagram. Instagram also suggests videos you may like, based on people you follow and interact with, as well as your interests – much like the Instagram discovery page.

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Although Instagram does let users post videos, they are limited to one minute long. IGTV allows creators to post videos up to one hour long, while still retaining the ability to comment, like and share by direct message.

The app is optimised for smartphone viewing, meaning it only supports videos which are vertical (a ratio of 9:16) – the aim being to encourage creators to film on their phone and reduce editing, for a more raw, honest feel.

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How to get started on IGTV

Watching IGTV is as simple as downloading the app, logging in and getting started – or clicking the IGTV button in your Instagram app homepage.

You can see which of the accounts you are following have created their own channels under the Following tab, or for suggestions based on your interests on Instagram, check out the For You tab.

Trending videos are available in the Popular tab, and the Search feature means you can look up topics, hashtags, or even users.

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It’s not just the ability to post longer videos that makes IGTV differ from Instagram. Viewers can now fast-forward and rewind by 10 seconds, or use the slider to move the video forward and back. If you need to leave IGTV, but want to carry on watching a video at a later date, you can click on the Continue Watching tab when you’re back in the app, as videos you’ve watched previously will be stored here.

To start your own channel, download the IGTV app and sign in with your Instagram account. Click through to Settings, and choose Create channel. Then you’re ready to go.

It’s a great opportunity for those who want to venture into vlogging, but don’t want to build their following up from scratch, as anyone who follows your Instagram account will automatically follow your channel on IGTV.

How to upload to IGTV

To upload a video, click on your profile and select the + button in the right-hand corner. Select a vertical video from your camera roll and add in a relevant title and description. Instagram will use these when suggesting what videos users should watch, and to suggest content when users search, so choose your keywords wisely.

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You can also set a cover photo, to keep your channel looking neat and tidy. The cover photo is also what’s shown in the IGTV discover page, so it’s a good idea to choose something eye-catching.

Who is already using IGTV?

The easiest way to find out if someone is using IGTV is to search their username, or to check out your Following tab. Plenty of brands have already jumped on the IGTV opportunity: The Food Network, Nickelodeon and MTV are just a few examples of TV channels that have already uploaded videos, while big publishers like Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan and Vogue are also pushing regular content to their channels too. Big brands like Nike are also getting involved.

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