What is the purpose of Instagram TV

Instagram TV

Instagram TV (IGTV) is a video application from Instagram that allows users to post longer videos can. It is available as a separate app for free download. However, some basic functions are also included in the normal Instagram app.

While Instagram TV, which competed with YouTube, initially met with reluctance among users, various innovations brought growing popularity in 2019.

Highlights in the development of Instagram TV

Instagram TV was launched on June 20, 2018. At that time, the application focused solely on vertical videos. This was based on the desire to specifically address a younger generation who are increasingly consuming videos on mobile devices. [1]

At first this wish did not seem to come true. The number of views of IGTV videos fell far short of expectations. This was attributed, on the one hand, to difficulties in drawing users' attention to Instagram TV videos and, on the other hand, to the fact that many companies reused horizontal videos on IGTV because of the lower effort - with mediocre results. That changed when Instagram successfully rolled out two changes in February and May 2019.

  • At first it became possible a preview in the Instagram feed watch on IGTV videos.
  • In addition, Instagram TV has allowed it to be set since mid-2019 horizontal videos.

Immediately after these innovations, many channels observed a surge in views. [2] However, whether this indicates a longer-lasting trend is controversial.

The specifics of Instagram TV

As already mentioned, Instagram TV is its own app. There is also an IGTV tab in the conventional Instagram application. Similar to YouTube, users can open your own channel and upload videos to it as well as other users' videos.

The main difference to other Instagram videos lies in the length of the clips. These can be up to 10 minutes long on IGTV. Verified accounts even have a maximum length of one hour. In order to draw attention to their own IGTV clips, users have the option of playing a preview in the feed, which can be up to a minute long.

For the future, observers also expect monetization options similar to those on YouTube.

Instagram TV in marketing

There are several ways that companies use IGTV for social media marketing:

  • IGTV is well suited to give users cinematic insights "behind the scenes" of companies and thus promote customer loyalty.
  • Various kinds of tutorials are also widespread.
  • As a video platform with a television character, Instagram TV is ideal for series, for example in the form of cooking shows.
  • Companies like BMW use IGTV for detailed product presentations in moving images.
  • After all, Instagram TV is popular for working with influencers.

With the introduction of horizontal video, companies have found it easier to reuse videos for other platforms such as YouTube on IGTV. This reduces the effort compared to producing vertical clips yourself.


[1] Matsakis, Louise / Goode, Lauren, With IGTV Instagram takes aim at YouTube, Wired, accessed on October 7, 2019
[2] E.g. Eisenbrand, Roland, up to 1000 percent more views: The viewing figures for IGTV suddenly go through the roof, OMR, accessed on October 7th. 2019