At the risk of sounding like I'm totally out of the loop on technology, I'm just going to come right out and say it — it's hard to keep up with all of the awesome developments in the tech space, sometimes. If you've heard rumors about something called IGTV on Instagram, but you aren't yet seeing it on your phone or understanding how you're supposed to use it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you've been thinking to yourself, "Why don't I have IGTV on Instagram yet," fret not: you're not the only one.
While media outlets like TechCrunch had been speculating about an impending announcement of a long-form video feature from the 'Gram for a few weeks, the company made it official at a press event on Jun. 20. "IGTV is a brand new experience inside the main Instagram app, and it’s also its own dedicated standalone app," Instagram product manager Ashley Yuki told the audience at the event.
So what does this really mean? Instagram has entered the long-form video game with IGTV (a handy acronym for Instagram Television), a platform that will exist as part of the app that you already know and love, and as it's very own stand-alone app. Per Yuki, IGTV videos can run up to 60 minutes long — an ample increase from the app's previous 60 second limit — and many influencers like Kim Kardashian West have already started to utilize the new platform to share vlog-type content that's longer that what they'd normally post on their Instagram Story.
This all sounds great, right? It's offering us the ability to interact with Instagram even more, and to share even more substantial content with your followers. It seems like there's little to no downside here. But IGTV may not have made itself obvious on your actual phone yet. Case-in-point: In the wake of the Jun. 20 announcement, Instagram's director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen posted a note on her Instagram Story to the hundreds of people DMing her about not seeing the update:
See? It's not just you.
But, if you haven't seen the update yet and are getting tired of waiting, there are a few things you can do to potentially speed the process along.
You Need To Update Your Instagram
Shortly after the big IGTV announcement, the social media giant began rolling out the new functionality to users through an app update. IGTV features are only available if you're working with Instagram version 50.0, so if you're clamoring for long-form video, make sure your app is as up-to-date as possible. It might take some time for the update to become available to you in the app store, so if you don't see version 50.0 just yet, you have to hang tight.
If you update your app to version 50.0 and you still don't see IGTV, try to x-out of the app and then restart it.
You'll Notice A New Icon For HGTV
Once your app is updated, you'll notice something new on your IG home screen — a small orange icon in the top-right corner. When I opened Instagram for the first time after downloading version 50.0, an orange text bubble pointed to the icon for me, so there was really no way to miss it. It also suggested some long-form content that I might enjoy watching. In the least surprising twist of the year (for me, at least), I was directed to a dog video.
Explore Available Content
Scroll through the carousel on the bottom of your screen to find out which creators are already publishing within the IGTV platform. Tap to watch!
Share Your Own Videos
Already to jump in with some long-form video of your own? Tap the wheel-shaped icon on the right side of the screen. You'll be prompted to create your own channel! IGTV videos will be vertically-oriented and full-screen.
Wait For The Stand-Alone App
Yuki revealed during the press event on Jun. 20 that a standalone IGTV app is coming, so once you've familiarized yourself with the platform as it stands now, you can be on the look-out for that!