How to Convert Your Video Content for Instagram TV



With all the major developments and feature releases Instagram has presented to us this past year, we’ve started to wonder: What’s in their drinking water? That’s because the company’s creativity is seemingly perpetual. In fact, creating your own website is quicker than the time you would spend reading up on Instagram’s new features.


One example of a feature is their latest release: Instagram TV (IGTV). This is the platform’s take on long-form video content. As a busy entrepreneur, an important question that might’ve just popped into your mind is: “How am I going to be present on yet another platform with the many other things I’m tasked with daily?!” We realize that creating fresh content for Instagram TV in addition to your pre-made YouTube, Facebook, and website videos would be a lengthy process. So, in order to make sure that you’re maximizing your time and current content, here are a couple of ways you can edit your existing videos for IGTV.


Below we’ll explain what IGTV is, the recommended video sizes and other content requirements, as well as how to convert your videos for IGTV:



What is Instagram TV (IGTV)?


As the platform continues to gain traction among millennials, influencers, brands and artists of all fields, the company decided to enter the long form content arena by creating Instagram TV. Also known as IGTV, this is - in simple terms - Instagram’s version of YouTube. It’s a place for sharing and viewing videos on your smartphone in full, vertical screen format. You know, the way that smartphones are supposed to be used. The feature is accessible either through the stand-alone IGTV app or through the regular Instagram app in the top right corner of your feed screen under the TV-shaped icon.


Overall, video consumption on smartphones is rapidly increasing, which puts IGTV in a dominate position right now. Yet, with the number of people who are still accustomed to flipping their phones to horizontal mode to access video content, the question about this new platform still remains unanswered: Will it or will it not be the future of online videos? That’s for you to decide.



Requirements for video content on IGTV


  • Length: From 15 seconds to 10 minutes for ‘regular’ accounts, and up to 60 minutes for larger and verified accounts.

  • Orientation: Vertical/ Portrait.

  • Format: MP4.

  • Size limit: 650 MB for ‘regular’ accounts (5.4 GB for verified accounts).

  • Aspect ratio: 4:5 minimum or 9:16 maximum.



3 ways to optimize your videos for IGTV


Push your video content into a converter

You’ve already done the hard work of creating a YouTube channel, sharing videos on Facebook, or adding them to your website. So, you might be looking to reuse that same material using the easiest way possible at the moment. If that statement describes you, you can upload your content into a converter and check this task off of your list. We won’t lie, though, that might not be the most visually-pleasing choice. A converter can lead to oddly cropped shots and unappealing video content, which frankly, can put all of your hard work to shame.


Different businesses have different focuses and needs, so if this option happens to suit yours, then that’s also okay (warnings aside). You can easily create vertical videos on the Wix Video Maker. If you already have a Wix website, you can go straight to the video maker by clicking here.


Additionally, there are several tools that take care of converting your videos for you. For example, Kapwing and Video Resizer for IGTV & more (it couldn’t be said more directly) are quick fixes with few editing features. We suggest using these if your plan is to just resize and convert your videos to easily upload to your IGTV account. But, if you’re looking for a more serious video editing procedure, check out option two.


Fine-tune the details to optimize your video content

If you didn’t shoot your video vertically, fit for a full smartphone screen to begin with, it’s still possible to make your content work for the platform. To build the most professional videos, you should focus mainly on the aspect ratio, the ratio of width to height of your clip on a screen. You’ll want to pay attention to this for each individual shot. Alongside focusing on this, here are some tips that you should look out for in order to optimize your video content for IGTV - all of which can be done with an advanced, user-friendly editing tool like iMovie or Movavi.





  • Avoid bad recutting solutions: Some examples include cutting off texts or faces, working with videos too small for the screen justified with blurry backgrounds, rotating clips horizontally, or duplicating (or triplicating) videos to fit the length of a smartphone screen. These are all big mistakes that will make your content look unappealing - a risk that can damage your user engagement.




  • Zoom in when necessary: Since you’ll want your video to take up the whole screen, the editing process might leave some people or objects oddly cropped in the background. So, sometimes you’ll need to zoom in on your main subject in order to crop out background objects that don’t fit.

  • Don’t lose your subject: When resizing your shots to fit the screen, it’s vital that your subject (or main focus) does not get cut off. You might have to pause each second during your editing process to make sure that everything you want to include exists - but trust us, it’s worth your time.

  • Accept that you can’t win it all: With a goal of optimizing your content and resizing it to fit a different aspect ratio, subjects and background objects are going to get cut out or cropped in unflattering ways. For some shots, it might be impossible to capture anything valuable in an attractive way. Those are unfortunately the ones you might need to toss - a sacrifice necessary for repurposing your content to a completely new platform.

  • Add a title and captions: Whether viewers browse your video in sound or silence, some aiding words are always a great choice for video content in this day and age. They help you to build a story when your shots can’t capture everything you want to express to your viewers. You can overlay your title or captions onto your images, or alone with simple backgrounds to lengthen your videos and add more exciting content.

  • Create an image cover for your channel: Also known as a thumbnail, this is associated with your IGTV channel, appearing in the IGTV app, on Instagram's website, in feeds, on the search grid, and in a very small image form on your profile below your description (next to your Story Highlights). There are many obstacles which overlay or crop the dimensions of your chosen image, like your title, the progress bar, your profile image, and the range of viewable platforms. To prevent these issues from hindering your performance, avoid using text and choose an image that can work in several dimensions. The image you choose should also be a JPEG file.


Shoot a vertical video from the start

While this might be the most obvious option mentioned yet, but it’s not always practical. It can take you the most time out of the choices presented here, but it’s definitely the most effective. And you don't need expensive gear either. Your smartphone’s video camera will suffice. After all, Instagram’s goal with IGTV is to promote “raw,” unedited content from real users. Plus, the main point we’ve made about video content for IGTV is that the clips need to be vertical and optimized for small screens. These reasons alone make your smartphone the ‘smartest’ choice of all.


When creating a video, your content should evidently tell a story, share something captivating, go behind the scenes of your business, or something else creative and eye-catching. Since this is long-form content, your creative capabilities are extensive. No matter what angle you decide to take, keep your focus on the frame at all times to avoid making the mistakes we’ve discussed in option two. Although you’re shooting from scratch, it’s still possible to add in some of the things mentioned above, like a title, captions, editing your frames and more. It’s time to bring your filmmaker skills to life and get started creating!



By Jennifer Kaplan

Community Writer




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