Instagram has announced that it will no longer support the separate IGTV app, saying in a blog post that it will instead focus on keeping all video in the main Instagram app (via TechCrunch† While the writing has been hanging on the wall for Instagram’s YouTube competitor for a while, the official announcement of the shutdown marks the end of an era for one of Instagram’s forays into video.
In its post, Instagram says it is removing the standalone IGTV app as “part of” [its] efforts to discover and make video as easy as possible.” The post also says that all videos in the main app are in full screen and tap to mute, and that Instagram is working on a consistent way to share the different types of videos (such as video posts or rolls). The company also plans to “test a new ad experience on Instagram later this year that will allow creators to monetize ads displayed on their reels”.
The standalone IGTV app was announced in 2018 and was intended to partner with YouTube by acting as a place to post long vertical videos. Less than a year later, IGTV content was heavily promoted in Instagram’s main app, with videos on the Explore page and previews in stories and in the main feed. In 2020, Instagram removed the button that took you to IGTV content in the main app, citing very few people using it, and late last year the company announced that IGTV was rebranding as “Instagram TV” and that IGTV’s hour-long time limit would also come to regular videos.
While the IGTV app is disappearing, along with the In-Stream ads that have been inserted into videos for over a minute, Instagram has made it very clear that it still plans to focus heavily on video. Monday’s blog post announcing IGTV’s retirement is titled “Continuing Our Video Investment on Instagram,” and last year Instagram’s lead said it was no longer a photos app — instead, it’s going behind competitors like TikTok and YouTube in an effort to become a mainstream entertainment app.
Since then, we’ve seen Meta offer creators up to $35,000 bonuses to place reels, and plenty of new video features have been added to the main Instagram app (although many of them have been copied from TikTok).