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Instagram TV: what is IGTV, what I should know, can I make money from it, how do I use it?



Few weeks ago, fast rising social media platform Instagram launched ‘IGTV’.

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IGTV (short for ‘Instagram TV’) is the social media platform’s new long-form video sharing service.

Video capabilities have previously been available on Instagram, but these were limited to a maximum of 30-seconds. Now, IGTV allows users to upload videos up to an hour in length.

How do I use it?

Assuming you already have an Instagram account, and the app installed on your smart phone, accessing IGTV is simple.

Just open the app, and look for the orange coloured TV icon in the top-right hand corner.

Pressing on that will take you to IGTV, where you’ll be able to view videos from the people you follow and popular “creators” (such as celebrities, internet personalities etc).

Android and iOS users can also download a dedicated IGTV app, where videos will start playing automatically when the app opens.

How do I upload my own videos?

Anyone will be able to upload videos for IGTV – which will display them full-screen and vertically – though unless you’re already something of a largely-followed Instagram ‘influencer’, your account might be restricted to ten-minute videos.

To start uploading your own content, simply click on the cog icon once you are in the IGTV section.

You’ll be prompted to create a channel, and by following a few simple steps, a place for your videos linked to your account will be created.

In the long term, Instagram wants to let all users post videos of unlimited length; the idea is that IGTV will one-day host full-blown ‘shows’ that can challenge traditional TV.

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Can I make money from it?

YouTube has for a long time been a viable place to earn a living – assuming you’re prepared to put in hard work to get your channel to turn a profit from advertising.

As it stands, there’s no way to do the same with IGTV; Instagram has said it’s not paying for any content in the short-term, and the service will launch with no ads.

But the company has said that it does plan to eventually see rewards for people make more popular videos.

Instagram wants to promote the idea that anybody can become famous through IGTV, and a spokesperson told Recode that the company is “committed to helping [creators] build their careers and make a living doing this work.”

Is it the future of video?

At the time time of writing, it was hard to find any creators making use of the full hour now allotted to them. The longest videos we were able to find through search were around five-minutes long.

But the feature is still in its infancy, and as more and more people begin to use and get acquainted with it, longer videos will no doubt start appearing.

And once monetary compensation is brought into the mix, we might see more creators making use of it, though it might be hard to tempt them over without it.

The hope, no doubt, is that it will challenge sites like YouTube. But seeing the two platforms side-by-side – where YouTube’s top stars have a second platform to showcase alternative content – is perhaps a more realistic prediction.

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