How to make an IGTV video cover and Instagram feed

An IGTV video cover is a picture that captures the essence of a video. On IGTV, it is needed to draw the attention of users to the video on the channel and they want to click on it and watch the entire video. It’s like a YouTube thumbnail. It may contain the title of the video, a good shot, a call to action, elements of corporate identity (if you run an account for a business).

This article will show you how to make a cover and add it to your IGTV video.

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IGTV Cover Specifications: Format, Size, Feed Preview

Format – JPG.

The size – minimum 420 x 654 pixels, aspect ratio 1: 1.55 (the video for IGTV itself has a ratio of 9:16).

Ribbon preview – allows you to display the video in the general Instagram feed. When clicked, a preview opens after which the user can go to IGTV. If you do not enable the preview function when uploading a video, then it will be published only in IGTV, it will not be in the general feed. When you enable preview in the main ribbon, you can select only a square frame of the cover, this must be taken into account when creating it.

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This is what a preview of an IGTV video looks like in the general Instagram feed:

It doesn’t have to have text on it, most covers are just a photo without text or a piece of video.

Here’s an example of how well-made IGTV covers look:

IGTV Cover Examples

How to make an IGTV video cover

Any simple graphics editor or app will do, like Canva – it has both an app and a web version. To register in the service, open home page: and activate a 30 day trial period (later you can refuse it and use the service for free).

To show you how you can create a picture for IGTV – go to Canva. There are no separate templates for IGTV, so we will do it from scratch – click on the “Custom sizes” link and specify 420 x 654 pixels. Click “Create Design”, a white canvas appears where you can add elements.

How to make an IGTV video cover

You can choose an option from ready-made templates – it automatically adjusts to our size.

IGTV Image Template

Or we do it from scratch, for example, we add a background – a photo or a color.

Cover background for video in IGTV

On top of the background, add elements – frames, arrows, lines, objects to draw attention to the preview.

IGTV Cover Design

We write the text so that the picture contains information about what the video will be about.

Cover text

If you are going to make a preview in the feed, then you need to immediately make the cover with this in mind. The ribbon will display only a square – what is shown in the central part of the cover. That is, it is clipped at the top and bottom. To fit into the tape, you need to determine in advance where this square will be. To do this, go to Elements, find a square shape there and add it to the picture.

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Image for preview in the Instagram feed

Stretch it to the full width of the cover. We look to get an even square in a 1: 1 ratio, and so that it is in the middle of the preview (the top and bottom should have the same indent).

Setting up cover for IGTV

You can make the square more transparent and then place it in the background. We get a template for which we adjust all the other elements so that they do not go beyond this square after publication in the feed.

When everything is ready, we delete our square template – it is no longer needed. We download the picture to the computer for future video.

Topic article: How to make covers for relevant stories

How to add a cover for a video on IGTV

You can add a video cover when uploading a video to IGTV or when saving a live stream. When the video is uploaded, you need to customize the preview – you can select a frame from the video or download a pre-created cover from the gallery. Click “Add from gallery”.

How to add a cover for a video on IGTV

Then click “Next”. We write the title and description of the video.

Add video description

Setting up a preview in the ribbon

If we want the video to appear in the Instagram feed, move the “Publish preview” slider to the ON position (blue).

Video cover for Instagram feed

You can edit the display in the feed, click on “Edit profile cover”.

Edit profile cover

We see a grid of squares – in the middle, what will be displayed in the ribbon. You can shrink, enlarge and move what is in the square. If you use our advice above and make a square template in Canva in advance, it will automatically fit into the grid.

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Cover for IGTV on Instagram profile

When everything is ready, click “Publish”.

How to change or change the cover

Unfortunately, after publication, you cannot change the cover either on Instagram itself, or in a separate IGTV application, or in the online version. You can only change the title and description of the video, for this we press 3 dots on the video, and then “Edit”.

Advice: Make covers that blend in with the overall style of your Instagram page. If you have a business profile, use your brand colors on IGTV previews. Pictures with text look good – it is immediately clear what the video is about.


IGTV is an “app within an app” video hosting service on Instagram. The section is becoming more and more popular, since it stores live broadcasts, here you can upload videos from 1 minute to an hour, and soon monetization will start working on IGTV, like on YouTube. Therefore, it is now important to work on the quality and design of your content on IGTV.

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