What is IGTV?
IGTV or 'Instagram TV' is a channel you can create either through the Instagram app or the standalone IGTV app to watch and/or post long-format video independent to your regular Instagram posts and feed.
Have you noticed when you browse your explore page, which is the little magnifying glass icon on the bottom of your home screen to search for stuff, that there is always a video playing in large format at the top? It's an IGTV video, not a regular video post.
IGTV is YouTube's long format video competitor, however it has not performed as well as Instagram expected. On the basis of this, I've found that the Instagram algorithm currently seems to be favoring IGTV videos. This means an IGTV video will be seen many times more than a standard video post, or a photo post. This will likely change, as does everything on any social media platform, so for now, it's a great idea to use it while you can.
For now, IGTV is ad-free, and cannot be monetized very easily by creators, which means it is currently pretty organic.
IGTV videos uploaded from your phone via the app have to be between 1 minute and 10 minutes. Any video above 10 minutes, but less than an hour has to be uploaded via desktop.
IGTV gives you the option to set preview as a post when you draft an upload, which places the first minute in your feed for your followers, and then the entire video is on your IGTV channel. Make sure you always check the preview box, as you will get many more views with the first 60 seconds of your video exposed in your feed prior to the viewers seeing it in IGTV.
Also, Instagram has recently allowed landscape as well as vertical video format on IGTV- yay! This makes for an easier experience, without having to flip your phone to watch a wider video.
You can see your own IGTV videos by tapping on the little TV icon under your profile on your home screen. You can see other people's IGTV channels by tapping on the little TV icon on their profile.You can navigate to upload to IGTV by tapping the explore page icon which is the little magnifying glass down bottom right of your profile screen, then tap the IGTV little TV icon on the top left of the next screen, then tap the plus + icon top right of the next screen.
IGTV even has it's own insights where you can view statistics on your video. On your IGTV feed post (not the feed preview) tap on the three little dots next to the airplane icon at the bottom of your screen, then tap 'view insights'. You will be able to see views, ie; how many people watched your video (three seconds counts as watching) as well as likes, comments, and even audience retention, an actual graph showing average percentage of your video people actually watched.
How do you create an IGTV channel? Go to settings (the little gear icon) and tap on 'create channel', and it will walk you through the rest of the process. Go to your new channel by tapping on your avatar from your main page.
If this all seems too daunting, just keep practicing step #2 until you feel more confident.