How to: Edit vertical video for IGTV (or Snapchat, or Instagram Stories)


Instagram is famous for adding new features every few months, but this time around its gone really big… and upright. The world’s favourite memories-and-photo-sharing app — seriously it now has over 1 billion active monthly users — now allows long-format video via a built-in sister app called IGTV. Any Instagram user can create an IGTV channel of their own and upload videos up to 10 minutes in length. Instagram’s chosen few — dubbed “creators” — can upload footage up to an hour long.

Savvy South Africans already know about VOOV, the live video streaming app that has a dedicated channel on DStv, which also only supports vertical/upright/portrait-orientation video. Like VOOV, IGTV lets you film video and upload it on the fly, but if you want to create more carefully considered — and edited — content, you’re going to need to get stuck into video editing apps or software.

There are a whole host of editing apps out there — both on mobile and on desktop — and you can bet that most current video editing apps will bring in a portrait-editing feature soon in response to IGTV. But until support for vertical video becomes commonplace, you’re going to have to dig around for the apps best suited to it. Or, you would have to, if we hadn’t already done the digging for you and rounded up the easiest ways to edit vertical videos for your shiny new IGTV channel.

Quik (Android/iOS/PC/Mac)

We’ve scoured the app stores on both Android and iOS, and our current winner for editing portrait-orientation video is GoPro’s Quik app.

Initially designed for action sports, the app uses data from recent GoPros like speed, altitude and G-force to mash together what it deems the highlights of your clips to create something rapidly shareable.

Whether you’re using a GoPro or just importing clips from your phone, Quik is ideal for creating IGTV content because imported video doesn’t have to be in vertical orientation to start with. You can change the orientation while you edit (with horizontal and square also being options, not that you’ll want those in this instance).

The app also has a variety of preset themes and filters that aren’t completely horrible — which is considered high praise, indeed, in the Stuff office. The best bit? Whether you want it on mobile, desktop, or both, Quik is free.

Vue (iOS/Android)

Our digging also turned up a gem called Vue that offers an absolutely beautiful interface that’s simplistic and easy to navigate.

The great thing about Vue is that video can be created with the app, or imported into it. Taking video in the app (in portrait orientation) gives you access to a range of funky filters, from the supremely strange to the beautiful and cinematic. There’s a serious caveat, though: You’re only able to capture video in bursts no longer than 180 seconds. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thankfully there’s no such limit on imported clips. Choose the ones you want from your gallery with a tap of the “+” symbol in the lower-left corner. Vue doesn’t have as many features as some rival apps, but it’s definitely worth adding to your arsenal.

Adobe Premiere Pro (PC/Mac)

Professional video editors/YouTubers will like all already have access to — and skills with — desktop editing software. Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most popular options, and it’s an immensely potent editing app favoured by plenty of pros.

The only snag is that you need to trick the program into exporting vertical video, as there aren’t any presets for these things (yet). When importing video from your DSLR or other camera, the software will automatically recognise it as a horizontal video. You’ll need to rotate the whole video 90º, and when exporting make sure the ‘width’ and ‘height’ are swapped around.

The general resolution will be set on 1920 wide by 1080 high (depending on the quality of your vid, of course), so just make sure to switch those around, and the video should export in portrait orientation.

Final Cut Pro (PC/Mac)

On to the other piece of video editing software pros like most, Final Cut Pro. Like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can try it out via a free trial if you’re unsure whether it’s for you (or you can potentially have two months’ worth of free editing if you do both trials consecutively, but shhh).

The premise remains the same as it does for Premiere Pro: You’ll have to turn the video upright, and then export it with the correct res.

Just dive right in

The important part about the IGTV app, is that it’s easy and accessible, and you’re broadcasting to an existing audience. Many people already have plenty of followers primed for their content. Turning to YouTube without any loyal followers and uploading video content hoping people will watch it can be comparatively daunting.

IGTV is a great way to create video content with minimal effort if you’d like, or all the effort — because with tools like those outlined above you can make your videos as slick or as amateurish as you like. At least now you have the correct tools to get started. Oh, and before we forget, you don’t have to upload IGTV videos from your phones. Head over to Instagram in your web browser, sign in, and you can post it that way, too.


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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