IGTV is the video sharing site for Instagram, designed specifically for phones. It helps creators to upload vertical long-form videos intended for viewing on smartphones. Unlike Instagram, which places videos with a maximum length of one minute, IGTV videos can last for up to one hour.

How IGTV Works

IGTV is available for your phone as a standalone app, but it is closely linked to Instagram. You sign in with your Instagram account, and by clicking on the little TV icon you can even access IGTV directly from the Instagram app.

What separates IGTV from Instagram is its emphasis on long videos, rather than short videos and images. It’s also designed to make watching stuff you’re interested in as easy as possible.

Once you open the app, it starts playing a popular or trending video right away, and you can swipe quickly to get a new video, check out videos from friends or creators you’re following, or search for new creators.

How to Get Instagram TV

You need to have an Instagram account before you can get the IGTV. Since IGTV is part of Instagram, it is all set for Instagram users to use the service without doing anything extra. If you’re new to Instagram, you can use either your computer or your phone to create an account.

If you don’t have an Instagram account yet, you have the option to sign in with your Facebook account. You can also create a brand new Instagram account if you don’t have Facebook or want to keep them separate.

Here’s how to sign up for Instagram and IGTV on a computer:

  1. Navigate to Instagram.com with your favorite web browser.
  2. Select Log In with Facebook if you want to use your Facebook account, or enter your information and select Sign up to create a new account.
  3. Look through the suggested creators and select Follow if you want to follow any of them, then scroll down and select Get Started.

At that point, your Instagram account is ready to go, and you can go ahead and download the IGTV app if you want. Instagram will give you an email confirmation with some directions to follow, so be sure to keep an eye out.

You can also sign up for IGTV directly from your phone if you don’t have a desktop computer, or simply prefer to do everything with your phone. You will need to download the Instagram App to do this.

Here’s how to sign up for IGTV using the Instagram app:

  1. Download and launch the Instagram app.
  2. Tap Create New Account.
  3. Enter either your phone number or email address, and tap Next.
  4. Enter your name, create a password, and tap Next.
  5. Tap Next.

Your Instagram account was created here. You can follow the next few on-screen prompts to link to Facebook, add a profile picture and set up your account entirely, if you like, or simply download the IGTV app and sign in.

Getting an Instagram account, or logging in with your Facebook account, you’re ready to jump right into IGTV. You can view IGTV content on your device from the Instagram website and on your phone from the Instagram app, but finding videos to watch in the dedicated IGTV phone app is much easier.

Here’s where you can get the Instagram app:

  1. Instagram for iOS on the app store.
  2. Instagram for Android on Google Play.

And here’s where you can get the IGTV app:

  1. IGTV for iOS on the app store.
  2. IGTV for Android on Google Play.

What Channels Does IGTV Have?

IGTV does not have the same channels that you would watch on cable or satellite television, unlike other online TV streaming services. The channels are the creators on IGTV, which means that some of your favorite creators on Instagram probably already have channels; more channels can be produced in the future, and you can even make your own IGTV channel if you like.

Does IGTV Have Commercials or Pay Creators?

IGTV has no ads, so you can watch as much as you want without ever waiting through an ad. There is also no subscription fee and you don’t have to pay to download the app so it’s completely free to use the service.

Unlike YouTube and Facebook Watch, both of which have provisions in place to either share revenue directly with creators or payers, IGTV does not pay creators. If you want to support Instagram’s favorite makers, your best bet is to test whether they have a Patreon, sell goods, or have some other way to help out.

How to Find Videos and Channels on IGTV

IGTV makes it extremely easy to find watching videos, and it’s actually designed to play a popular or trending video automatically when you start the app. If you find it interesting you can watch that video, or swipe the screen to move on to a new one.

If you have something specific in mind, IGTV also makes it easy to search for your favorite creators. Here’s how to search for a channel or video in the IGTV app:

  1. Launch the IGTV app.
  2. Tap the magnifying glass icon where it says Search IGTV.
  3. Tap Search at the top of the screen, and type the name of the channel you’re looking for.
  4. Tap the creator in the search results.

This will open the creator’s channel on IGTV, so you can watch any videos they’ve uploaded. If you want to get back to their channel quickly, you can also follow them from right inside the IGTV app.

How to Follow Someone on IGTV

If you are already on a creator channel that you want to join, look for the little icon next to it that looks like a human with a plus button, and tap it. The plus will turn to a check mark, which means you have followed them.

You can also follow someone on IGTV directly from a video. This is handy if you’re scrolling through the feed and see something you like. You don’t have to leave the video, or even stop watching it, to follow the creator.

Here’s how to follow someone on IGTV:

  1. Launch the IGTV app.
  2. Tap a video you’re interested in and it will start playing.
  3. Tap anywhere on the video to reveal the overlay.
  4. Tap the name of the creator.
  5. Tap the + with the person icon next to it.

How to Create Your Own IGTV Channel

Everyone with an Instagram account automatically has an IGTV account, but having an IGTV account doesn’t mean you have an IGTV channel. If you want an IGTV channel, you have to enable it and set it up.

Here’s how to create your own IGTV channel:

  1. Launch the IGTV app.
  2. Tap your profile picture.
  3. Read the explanation of IGTV, then tap Next.
  4. Read the information about IGTV videos, then tap Next.
  5. Tap Create Channel.

Creating your own channel on IGTV really is that easy, but just having a channel won’t get you very far. The next step is to upload videos for other people to watch.

How to Upload Your Own Videos to IGTV

It’s extremely easy to upload videos to your IGTV page, and you can do so right from your camera. You can use the app as well, which is a better option if you make longer, structured videos and edit them before uploading. The IGTV app works just fine when you just upload raw images.

Here’s how to upload videos to your IGTV channel:

  1. Launch the IGTV app.
  2. Tap your profile picture.
  3. Tap the + on the right side of the screen, or tap Upload Video if you’ve never uploaded a video before.
  4. If prompted to allow IGTV access to media on your phone, tap ALLOW.
  5. Locate the video you want to upload, then tap it.
  6. The video will open in a player for you to verify it’s the correct one.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter a title and description, then tap Post.

After you tap post, you’ll notice a small thumbnail showing the progress of the video upload. When finished, your video will be available on IGTV for everyone to watch.

Is IGTV Really a Cable Replacement or YouTube Killer?

IGTV focuses on vertical streaming, and all content is created by Instagram owners, so it’s more of an alternative to YouTube than a cable substitute. Focusing on vertical content also means that it is not likely to be a direct competitor to YouTube, while IGTV could be given an edge by the continuing transfer in media consumption to tablets.

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