Instagram is finally acknowledging that IGTV, its first big push into video, didn’t pan out.
Today, the company is rebranding IGTV as “Instagram TV,” and it’s getting rid of the exclusive IGTV video format. Videos posted to the main Instagram feed can now run up to 60 minutes long — a length previously reserved for IGTV videos — and you’ll no longer have to leave the main app to view them.
A spokesperson for Instagram says the IGTV app, now called the Instagram TV app, will remain as a “destination for people to visit with the intent of watching video.”
IGTV was introduced in June 2018 and was essentially meant to become a mobile equivalent to YouTube, creating a space to discover and watch longer videos. But the longer format never caught on. And just two months later, an app called TikTok launched in the US.
Instagram has since refocused its video efforts on rivaling TikTok with its short video format Reels. Reels launched in August 2020, and Instagram has aggressively pushed forward with them, giving them a central spot in the app’s navigation, starting to sell ads, and cross-posting them into Facebook’s News Feed.
Reels still has one major shortcoming, though: it doesn’t offer a consistent way for creators to get paid out, as YouTube and TikTok do. Facebook plans to pay $1 billion to creators by the end of 2022. Some of that money has gone to Reels creators, but it’s not a dedicated system for videomakers to get paid — always a good way to encourage people to make things on your app.