Instagram has evolved a lot over the years, from adding video in 2013 to introducing Instagram Stories in 2016. And now there’s been another massive update to our fave image-sharing platform: the release of IGTV, a long-form video feature.
The company has been teasing the update since early June, when reports emerged that users would soon be able to upload videos as long as one hour. And yesterday, June 20th, Instagram made it official, rolling out IGTV.
IGTV has its own standalone app, along with a button within the original Instagram app itself. So far, the new feature seems a little like YouTube. In addition to spotlighting original content from celebrities, users can upload their own videos.
So, how exactly do you use IGTV?
If you want to try your hand at making long-form video masterpieces, the first step is to make sure that your phone’s operating system and Instagram app are updated to the latest version. If you don’t have the standalone app, you can access IGTV from a TV-shaped icon in the top-right corner of your Instagram home screen.
When you press the icon, it takes you to a navigation screen that features a search bar and four different categories: For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching. You can swipe right to navigate through videos recommended to you based on who you already follow. Swipe down, and IGTV will continue playing the currently selected video.
According to an Instagram press release, videos play in full-screen and portrait mode to mirror “how you actually use your phone” — meaning all videos are vertical. The press release also notes that you can like, comment on, and send videos to your friends.
If you’re a creator at heart, you can create your own IGTV channel.
Once you’ve added a channel, you can access it by clicking on your profile picture in the main IGTV screen. From there, you can upload content from your video library. As The Verge points out, when you first start out, your videos can be a maximum of 10 minutes, while more prominent channels can share longer videos.
But CEO Kevin Systrom told The Verge that the goal is for everyone, eventually, to be able to post unlimited videos. Although there will be no ads at first, it’s possible they’ll be added as IGTV grows in scope.
We can’t wait to try out IGTV. What are your thoughts on the new feature?