IGTV: Why Did Instagram Delete It And What Happens Next?

If you’ve ever uploaded a video that’s longer than 60 seconds to Instagram, you know that they required you to upload it as an IGTV video, but that is all about to change. It was a valiant effort, but after three years of ups and downs, Instagram has decided to get rid of IGTV. Why did Instagram make this decision? What does this mean for the future of the app? How will it affect your experience on the platform? We have the answers to all of these questions.

What Is IGTV?

When Instagram first started, it was considered a photo-sharing app. Still, with the rise of video-sharing social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram promptly introduced Stories and started dipping its toes in the waters of video-sharing. In June 2018, Instagram introduced IGTV as a stand-alone app and a new feature on the Instagram app. The purpose of this feature/app was to dive deeper into the world of video-sharing and become a worthy competitor to platforms like Youtube. IGTV’s differentiated itself from other video platforms by giving users a mobile-optimized way of viewing long-form videos. While Instagram had already delved into the world of video with the introduction of Stories and short videos, this new feature allowed users to watch and create vertically shot and full-screen videos that offered an authentic mobile experience. While Instagram already allows users to post videos on their feed, these were limited to 60 seconds, IGTV’s duration limit went up to 60 minutes! This addition gave users a much better opportunity to tell engaging and compelling stories through video. So, why did a feature that seemingly had so much potential fail? Let’s figure it out.

Why Did IGTV Fail?

Users' initial adoption of IGTV was promising at first, but quickly after its release, the number of downloads and interactions with the feature started plummeting. 

The IGTV app received only seven million downloads which account for a minuscule percentage of Instagram’s users, and in 2020 Instagram deleted the IGTV button, but why? The truth is, there is no one big reason, rather multiple small ones. Let’s dive into them.

- A fragmented user experience: This new feature was intended to be a rival to video sharing platforms like Youtube, but it wasn’t adopted as widely as other platforms. One of the many reasons for this is that IGTV was hard to navigate, and fragmented the user's experience. When it launched, IGTV was hidden in its own app or the icon on the top of Instagram’s home feed. The difficult access to this feature made interactions with it feel fragmented from the overall Instagram experience, which resulted in low views for the content uploaded to IGTV. 

- Creators stopped creating: Creating and editing content takes a lot of patience, especially if you are exploring a new format. The purpose of IGTV was to allow its users to film and share vertical videos, but after the views started going down, creators realized that their hard work wasn’t as rewarding as it was on other platforms, so they stopped creating content for IGTV. So, as more creators stopped posting content, the already small audience of IGTV started to decline. 

- Tied down to the content you follow: Instagram had a very ambitious goal when it introduced IGTV; it wanted to be a worthy rival to Youtube. However, they neglected one crucial component. Youtube is not only a popular social media platform. It is is the second most popular search engine. People turn to Youtube to learn new things, to get answers to their questions, and for entertainment. IGTV didn’t offer a search-engine-like experience. It tied down users to the content of the people they already followed. 

- Influencers disliked it: Instagram influencers quickly turned away from this feature for many reasons.

  • Their content couldn't be repurposed: Long-form videos can benefit those who want to share a compelling story, but they take a lot of work. If a video creator wanted to produce a video, they would much rather spend that energy and time on creating something that could be shared across multiple platforms. However, IGTV’s vertical screen was incompatible with all other video-sharing platforms.
  • Views weren't monetized: Another reason why IGTV couldn’t compare to the video-sharing giant? Popular Youtubers can make from $3-$10 per thousand views and even more for ad views, but IGTV views were not monetized.
  • Appealed to the wrong users: Influencers excel at telling stories through images or short authentic videos. Creating an hour-long video simply didn’t interest them or align with their relationship with their audiences.

 How Will It Affect Your Instagram Experience?

Now that you know how IGTV started and why it ended, let’s quickly break down how this change will reflect in your Instagram experience.

- Instagram video: IGTV is gone, but all of the videos posted through these features will remain intact. In an attempt to make the video-sharing experience more cohesive, Instagram created Instagram VideoThis means that all of the videos from your feed, IGTV, and live videos you saved will be under the same tab. Instagram Reels will still have a separate tab.

- New features: When you upload a video, you now have many more features, such as adding filters, adding captions, tagging people, adding locations, and trimming the video, making the editing process easier.

As you can see, the changes that have been made will not significantly impact your experience on the app, but they will make sharing video content much easier and allow for more engagement.

How Will This Influence Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

As Instagram keeps evolving and updating, so should your strategies. Instagram video is a feature that will allow you to engage more deeply with your audience You can answer their questions, give them information, and increase your own credibility on the app. Moreover, it allows your audience to find all of your video content quickly and easily. So, how can you use all forms of video on Instagram to create a great digital marketing strategy?

  • Instagram video: Use this feature to connect more meaningfully with your audience. Long format videos are the perfect place to share your story, educate your audience, and strengthen your credibility and authority.

  • Reels: Learn how to create excellent reels to bring your account to life. As a short form of video, reels allow you to reach a new audience while entertaining your followers.

  • Stories: Instagram Stories can be an incredibly powerful tool if you use them correctly. Use Instagram stories to nurture your relationship with your audience by showing them behind the scenes and everyday moments.

  • Instagram live: Use Instagram Live for real-time connection and speaking directly to your audience. This type of video is great for product launches, events, or collaborations.

You win some, and you lose some. Nevertheless, IGTV was a learning experience that cleared the path for the success of Instagram Reels and Instagram Video.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and that you got some clarity on the disappearance of IGTV and what comes next. For more tips, advice, and strategies on all things marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs.


Author: Julia Prieto