Sharing Your Films: IGTV

Last month we posted on the blog how to share your films on Instagram. This tutorial was just for sharing films as an actual post, with the downside of limiting users to films that are shorter than 60 seconds. This month we’re going to take a look at how you can use IGTV (or Instagram TV) to share your business films that are longer than 60 seconds, without requiring users to navigate using tricky links in your profile.

STEP 1: Get them onto your phone

In order to share a video clip on Instagram, you first have to have it on your phone.  When we share final films with clients we share via both Vimeo (link to where we’ve hosted it on our Vimeo channel) and Dropbox. So we recommend using the Dropbox app on your phone to get the films to your phone.

When you open your Dropbox app you can view files in various forms (see the bottom of this screenshot), but once you’ve accessed the folder we’ve shared (which we always title ‘Final BDLB Films’) you’ll see your films there.

STEP 2: Resize the Image

IG TV will try to crop your video to fit their screen, which is not the proportions that most professional videos are made in. So the next step is to use a third-party app that can resize for you. There’s lots of options to do this with, but the one we found (for FREE!) that does this pretty easily is InShot.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, go ahead and open it up. Then you’ll want to select Create New Video. From there you’ll select ‘New’ and you’ll be able to select the film on your phone which has been downloaded from Dropbox.

Once you have the film opened you’ll want to do two things.

RESIZE: This will create the correct proportions so that IGTV does not crop your video to fit the iPhone screen. 

Select ‘Canvas’ at the bottom of the screen, then select the option shown below. Then click the check mark and it will take you back to the main menu.

Then you’ll want to CHANGE THE BACKGROUND. If you don’t do this, it might give you a weird colored background or have the film playing in the background as well. This is super confusing to watch, and not aesthetically pleasing.

Select the menu option that says BG (this means Background) and from here you can select a color. We prefer black because it’s cleaner, but you can choose most colors here.


Once you click the checkmark you’re all done, and the last step here is to save to your phone. Choose the Export icon at the top right, then select SAVE.

OKAY! Now your video is resized and ready to share on IGTV!

STEP 3: Open up your IGTV channel and add your video.

When you open up Instagram, to post to IGTV you now have to open up your IGTV channel. You can do this by selecting the IGTV icon in the top right of your home screen.

Once you do this, you then click the + symbol to add a video to your channel.

STEP 4: Select a cover image

This step won’t matter as much to everyone, but IS really important when you are also sharing a preview to your feed (which I recommend). This cover image will be the permanent image that shows up on your grid, and as you can see below is noted only by an IGTV logo in the top right. If you don’t strategically select this, it might show up as black or as a cropped image they choose.

It will also show up permanently on your IGTV channel page as you can see here.

You’ll notice one mistake I made when we first started adding videos… (look at the cover image in the bottom left). They will give you the option to select an image from the film, (which is definitely easier since you can just scroll across and pick one you like) BUT it will appear cropped rather than fill the screen. While for the actual film you do want this effect because it gives you the correct proportions, for a cover image you want it to fill the screen and not have black bars on the top and bottom.


So I recommend using an actual photo, which you an add by selecting the image button to the right of the scroller. We usually pull a screen shot from the film that we like, or an image related to that particular project and upload here.

STEP 5: Create a title.

This seems like an easy last step, but there’s one important thing to note here. If you’re posting a preview on IG (which we recommend), this title becomes your caption. So while this doesn’t seem intuitive, create this title as if it’s the caption that will show up on IG (because it is). There is a word limit, and we haven’t figured out a way around this yet, so we’ve found ourselves pretty limited with what appears on the feed. As a result we’ve added hashtags in the comments, as well as additional context.

Make sure you’ve turned the toggle switch ON for ‘Post a Preview on IG’. We turn the toggle OFF for posting on Facebook, because we prefer to upload directly to that platform (for reasons discussed in the post ‘Sharing Your Films: Facebook‘).


And that’s all! You’ve now uploaded your first IGTV video!