IGTV vs Stories: What’s the Difference?

It’s no surprise that everyone loves Instagram. Even though it’s kind of depressing in its own way, the platform is very addictive. And to further that addiction, IGTV was launched in June 2018. From photo posts to IGTV, Instagram has come a long way.

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In a way, IGTV (Instagram TV) is a direct competitor to YouTube. You can say it is Instagram’s version of YouTube, which is currently the number one platform for online video content.

IGTV seems like YouTube and Instagram Stories had a baby. It has many similarities to Stories yet is very different from it. Curious to know the differences? Let’s find out in this post where we compare IGTV and Instagram Stories.

Life Cycle

Instagram Stories have a short life. They disappear after twenty-four hours from public view unless you add them to your Highlights. For personal use, they stay in your archives.

IGTV videos are like normal videos, which stay forever in your channel until you delete them manually.

Time Limit

Instagram is a heaven for people who love to share images. Even though it lets you post videos in stories and regular posts, both have a very short duration limit. While in Stories, you can post 15-second video only (psst, here’s how to post longer videos), normal posts can go up to one minute. Still very less if you want to post an elaborate video.

This is where IGTV helps. It has a one-hour time limit for longer videos.

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Separate App

When Instagram launched IGTV, they also announced a dedicated app for it. There aren’t any significant differences between the native IGTV feature in the Instagram app and the separate app. You can enjoy the content in the separate app comfortably.

On the other hand, Stories is integrated into the Instagram app only. There is no special app for it.


Familiar with channels on YouTube? Now Instagram has them too, and you need a channel to upload a video. Basically, the IGTV platform is divided into channels — one for each user. You can add multiple videos to a channel. However, if you want to create a second channel you will need a second Instagram account.

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When it comes to Stories, you don’t need a channel. You can post Stories on Instagram directly.

User Interface and Navigation Controls

Stories and IGTV have a similar user interface where gestures play an important role. When you swipe left, you will see the next video or a picture (in the case of Stories) — this gesture is common between Stories and IGTV. And when you swipe right, you can see the previous content.

You will find the Stories section at the top of the home screen where you can see stories from all users. You can tap on any story to start auto-playing all the subsequent stories. Or you can tap on the user whose story you want to watch.

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In the case of IGTV, you need to go to the TV section by pressing the dedicated button at the top. Alternatively, you can go to the users profile where you will find their channel.

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Once you open IGTV, the videos will start playing automatically. On the home screen, you will find videos from the users you follow. If you swipe up, you will get tabs such as Following, Popular, and Continue Watching. There is also a search tool once you perform the swipe up gesture.

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IGTV is special and different from Stories as you get proper navigation controls. This was necessary as you can have videos with a duration up to an hour. Imagine repeatedly tapping to forward a video.

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You can like and comment on IGTV videos just like you do in the regular posts. You can share them on Instagram via DMs. If you want to share them via some other app, you can do that too with the help of the Copy Link feature.

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While you cannot like or comment on Stories, you can react to them and reply to them. You can also share them via DMs. And if you want to share them externally, you will have to share their Highlights.

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Vertical Videos

The feature that distinguishes IGTV from YouTube is the support for vertical videos. Nowadays, most of the content is viewed on smartphones, and it makes sense to have content optimized for viewing on the phone. In other words, vertical videos. Apparently, rotating your phone or turning on auto rotate is too much of a hassle.

Similarly, Stories are also focused on being full screen and vertical.

Which One to Use?

Clearly, there are striking differences between Instagram’s two features — IGTV and Stories. If you are more into smaller videos and enjoy such content, Stories are the best place to show your talent. However, if you prefer longer videos and don’t want to create a YouTube channel, IGTV won’t disappoint.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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