IGTV vs. Instagram Live: What Planners Should Know

Both features can help you leverage the big potential of video

In June, Instagram launched IGTV, a feature that allows the platform’s 1 billion users to upload up to 10 minutes of video per post. (Unlike Instagram Stories, which hosts photos and brief video clips that disappear after 24 hours, IGTV content doesn’t vanish.)

Better yet, established and verified Instagram accounts can host up to an hour of IGTV content—far longer than a standard Instagram post, whose videos can’t exceed 60 seconds. That’s a lot of airtime to connect with social media followers hungry for the visual medium. 

And the momentum is seemingly there: Time spent watching video on Instagram is up more than 80 percent year over year.  

IGTV is just one way to leverage the power of Instagram video. Another key strategy is Instagram Live, which lets users broadcast video and engage with audiences in real time via Instagram Stories, which is used by 500 million Instagram accounts each day. 

So, which option is right for you—and what does this mean for your meeting or event? Here’s a look at each one and how they might benefit your meeting purpose:

How IGTV Works

Designed to mimic the functionality of YouTube, the IGTV feature aims to keep Instagram users engaged without being directed to longer-form videos elsewhere. IGTV can be accessed within Instagram and is also available as a standalone app, which begins playing video (all selections are vertical and full screen) the moment a user opens it. IGTV users create “channels,” so navigation is, in fact, similar to television.

When to Use IGTV

If you prefer a prerecorded segment that exceeds the 60-second mark, this is a great way to connect with Instagram audiences. Planning a big event? Tape a walkthrough of the venue. Conventions might host an interview with a buzzworthy guest or offer a sneak preview of a product or service set to be unveiled. Link the clip to an Instagram Story (create a new story and click the “link” icon) and promote it on other social channels.

How Instagram Live Works

Sharing a livestream starts with a tap. Log in to the app and click the camera icon at top left. Then, tap “Live” at the bottom of the screen and then tap “Go Live.” Broadcasts are limited to one hour and are no longer visible in the app once ended (unless the hosting account shares a replay). Existing account followers receive a push notification at the start of your stream, which is also bumped to the first Stories position in a user’s feed.

When to Use Instagram Live

Live content offers a spontaneity that can be appealing to many viewers. Big, bustling events have myriad opportunity to share behind-the-scenes moments, interviews from the convention floor, Q&As culled from real-time Instagram comments, or lighthearted—yet informative—updates from an engaging company mascot or staffer. To boost views, tease out promos in advance across platforms so followers don’t miss out on the fun.