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Exploring Instagram: Videos, Stories, Live, and IGTV

Exploring Instagram: Videos, Stories, Live, and IGTV

13min read  

28 Aug 2019

The internet has changed the way we perceive this ever-changing world. Social media platforms create more and more ways for us to share our lives in different formats. Let’s take Instagram as an example.
Here, you can share your life in many ways: video posts, live videos, stories, long videos on IGTV. It’s up to your taste. The days are gone when private information remained private.
We share everything we do, the places we visit, the food we eat, and many other events in our lives which are supposed to be private (we’ll keep this unspecified).

everything about Instagram videos

From another point of view, this is a great opportunity for businesses as 60% of Instagram users say that they learn about a product or service on the platform.

How to get the most out of Instagram videos? In this article, we’ll speak about the different ways you can share your videos on Instagram.


  1. Instagram Video Post

Instagram is the right place to show your creativity. At least this is what many people do by creating very nice and unique feeds. One way of creating an outstanding feed is posting only videos.

instagram video

So, how long can Instagram videos be? The platform lets you post up to 60-second videos with a minimum of 3 seconds. In order to post a video, tap the + at the bottom of your screen. You have 2 options: choose a video from the Library/Gallery of your phone, or click on Video to open the camera and record your video.

Then, you can add a filter to your video, trim it, choose the cover and mute it. You can also add multiple videos and edit them separately.

Once you finish customizing and editing your video, add a caption and publish it. You can add a location and tag people on your video post.

instagram story 

You can share 3 types of videos on your feed:

  • Square: 600 x 600 pixels (1:1)
  • Horizontal: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1)
  • Vertical: 600 x 750 pixels (4:5)


Note that the max size of your video is 4GB.

This is just one option of posting videos on Instagram. Your post won’t disappear and your audience will see it on your feed as long as you want it.


  1. Instagram Stories

In 2016, Instagram launched its “Stories” feature which is still very popular among users. Moreover, it’s become a very powerful marketing tool for brands. With Instagram Stories, you can share your photos or videos with your followers which will disappear after 24 hours.


How to Use Instagram stories?

After the launch of this feature, users have found many creative options to use the Stories. Some users create stories by using Instagram story templates which make them look unique and creative.

Instagram video length

Later, Instagram introduced its Highlights where the users can save their stories and make them available for a long time. Besides, you can save your Stories on your device.

The Stories are available on the Instagram home screen and on individual user profiles. Active stories are highlighted in circles. Tap on them to view the stories. You can navigate between the stories which appear on the home screen starting from the newest ones. Here are some gestures which will help you easily navigate between the Stories:

  1. Tap the right edge of your screen to go to the next story,
  2. Tap the left edge to go back,
  3. Swipe left or right to move between the stories,
  4. Press and hold to pause it.

Instagram story size

Source: HubSpot


How to Make an Instagram story?

To create a story, open Instagram and tap the camera icon on the top left.

Instagram video length

You can add a video from your Library/Gallery or record a video in the app. Instagram story video length is 15 seconds. Though, you still can post longer videos by cutting the video into 15-second parts. The Instagram story size is 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Instagram has different built-in effects for videos such as Boomerang, Superzoom, Rewind, and Hands-Free, which make the stories even more engaging and creative.

Instagram offers a wide variety of options to make your stories interactive and attract your viewers’ attention. After recording your story video, customize it with the help of different tools. Write your text, draw something, add stickers and GIFs, download your story, or add different animations.

When you tap on the sticker icon, you will see the menu of customizable stickers. With the right use of these stickers, you can increase the engagement with your profile. Let’s go through them.

Instagram stickers

The customizable stickers include the Location, Mention, Hashtag, Time, Poll, Questions, Countdown, GIF, and Emoji slider. These stickers let you add your location and the time to your story, mention your friends or other users, use Instagram hashtags to get more views on your story, create polls and questions to interact with your audience, add a countdown to some event, or add an emoji sticker to see the reaction of your viewers.

If you have never tried these stickers, then you should definitely do it.

When you post your story, you can see its views - the list of users who have seen your story. This list disappears after 24 hours. Besides, you can see their activities and interactions with your story.

How to repost Instagram stories? When you mention other users in your story, they can repost them in their stories.

As we said, the Instagram stories expire after 24 hours, but you can save them to Highlights on your profile where they will be available to the users as long as you want it.

Instagram highligts

How to add a link to Instagram stories? You might have seen stories where the pages encourage users to “swipe up” which redirects them to a website or a landing page. This feature is available to the profiles with more than 10.000 followers for free. Once you reach this number, you’ll see an icon in the top menu while creating a story. Tap the icon and add your external link or an IGTV video.

add link to instagram story

The same feature is available in paid ads. Create your story ad and target by reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs and brand awareness. The performance of your ads is available in the Insights section.

Instagram Stories have great potential and give you an opportunity to build strong relationships with your audience. Use that opportunity and share amazing video stories.


  1. Instagram Live

Live stories and events help you to increase the interaction with your followers as you directly communicate with them and share what’s happening right at the moment. You give your followers the opportunity to take part in whatever you do in real time.

Instagram Live videos are great because you don’t have to buy professional equipment to go live. Simply use your phone and the Instagram app. And, when you go live, you can see how your followers respond to it by checking the number of your views and comments.

Once you finish your live stream, you can share it in your stories, which will be available to your followers for 24 hours.

But, before going live, you need to prepare for it beforehand: where and when to go live, what to share with your audience. Announce the date and time of your live stream beforehand and invite your followers to join it.

So, how to go live?

Go to the Instagram home screen, then swipe right. At the bottom of your screen, you will see the story options including “Live”. Choose “Live” and tap the “Start Live Video”. Here you have an option to add filters by clicking the Emoji icon.

how to go live on instagram

Source: The Daily Dot

Once you finish, tap “End” to stop your live stream. Save your video or share it in your stories.

During your live session, your viewers can interact with you through comments. But, if you don’t want to receive any comments, simply go to settings and turn them off.

Don’t forget about giving value to your audience, so that the next time you start a live video, they will be eager to join in and watch.


  1. IGTV

In June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV - a vertical video application that allows users to publish up to 10-minute videos. Larger and verified accounts can publish up to 60-minute videos.

It’s a standalone platform, which can also be accessed through Instagram. Create your channel with your Instagram account and easily browse different channels, including the channels of the profiles you follow.

This helps brands to be discovered by new audiences, increase their brand awareness and spread their messages through longer, mobile-optimized videos.

Once you create your channel, go ahead and publish your first video. Take into account that the videos should have a vertical orientation and a maximum size of 650 MB. The recommended IGTV dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16). If your account is private, only your approved followers will see your channel and videos.

How to upload a video to IGTV?

You can do it from the Instagram app, IGTV app, and on the web version of Instagram.

From the Instagram app, click the IGTV icon on the top right and tap your profile photo to view your channel. Then, click + to upload a video from your device and tap “Next”.

Instagram IGTV

Add a title and your video description, then click “Post”. You can share your video preview on your Instagram feed and profile, or to a Facebook page. Later you can edit the title and description of your video from your computer.

Don't forget to choose the thumbnail of your video, because people usually judge videos by their thumbnails.

Here's a little trick: if your video is not vertical, ask your audience to rotate their mobile devices at the beginning of the video.

When you upload a video to IGTV, its so-called "trailer" will appear in your feed. It's not the full IGTV video, but a short 1-minute video.

Many brands and influencers have successfully incorporated IGTV into their marketing strategy. This gives an additional opportunity to be discovered by the users and share valuable information with them.


To Sum Up

Videos have become an inseparable part of our online presence and are successfully incorporated in many social platforms. As people spend more and more time on their mobile devices, the mobile-first approach is becoming a priority.

As you can see, Instagram offers different options for sharing video content - live videos, stories, long vertical videos. As a brand or an individual, you can try them all and find the best option for you to get the most out of your efforts. Use this guide to create and share your videos. Test and improvise to find the most engaging content for your audience.

You can try our Instagram Stories Pack to create unique, engaging stories.

Try Now

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