Your Brand’s Survival Guide for IGTV (That New Icon on Your Instagram Feed)
Peter Panda

If you’re not a social media junkie like some of the folks around our office (cough, cough: Jamie, EK, Ashton), you might have some questions about this new Instagram TV thing.

What the heck is that new button at the top of my Instagram feed?

Why does Instagram have this feature?

Should my brand use it?

How can I make the most of it?

How would David Hasselhoff use IGTV?

Well, it’s your lucky day because our team of social media Elasticians teamed up to give you the answers. Except for the last question. That’s up to you.  Now let’s dig in.

What is IGTV?

Instagram TV (IGTV) is a long form video app that’s also accessible within Instagram. Although it’s been less than a month since the feature was introduced by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, IGTV is already playing an integral role in many brands’ social media strategies.

What are the features of IGTV?

  • Anybody can create IGTV videos ranging from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, but large and/or verified accounts can create videos up to 60 minutes long.
  • Videos are full-screen and vertical.
  • Users can watch via Instagram or the IGTV app.
  • Users can “swipe up” on a creator’s call-to-action.
  • Users can like, comment and send IGTV videos directly to their friends.
  • IGTV videos are compatible with Facebook Watch.
  • All videos play vertical, just like the Stories feature.


Why did Instagram create it?

IGTV is a crucial part of Instagram’s ongoing battle with YouTube to attract influencers to its platform. And with over 1 billion users, Instagram has YouTube looking in its rear-view mirror. Competition aside, IGTV will certainly benefit from the soaring popularity of video content on social media. The launch couldn’t have come at a better time.

Do influencers make money from IGTV?

As of now, there are no advertising options for IGTV, but Instagram says it plans to enable creators to profit from their content in the near future.

Should your brand use it?

As the great journalist H. L. Mencken said, For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.” Here are some questions to help you sort out your thoughts before pressing “record:”

What’s the best way your brand can benefit from visual storytelling?

Will the benefits of video justify the time and cost of producing it? (Hint: yes.)

Is this something you can produce on a semi-regular basis?

If you answered “yes” to most of these, you may want to consider adding IGTV to your social media repertoire.

How can you make the most of IGTV?

At the end of the day, you know your audience (and how to speak to them) better than anyone else. However, these are some general best practices to keep in mind if you opt to use IGTV:

  • Capture the viewer’s attention within the first 2 seconds.
  • Ensure that the content is on-tone with your brand voice.
  • Get viewers involved: ask questions, get suggestions, shout people out, make them feel special.
  • Add value.
  • Include a call-to-action. What do you want viewers to do after watching?


If you need some inspiration, here are a few examples of brands that are nailing IGTV early onThis should be enough information to get you through a happy hour conversation about IGTV. But if you want to learn more, feel free to hit us up via email, phone, or carrier pigeon.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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