Instagram Merges IGTV Format With Main Feed To Make Videos More Central Part Of The App


Instagram has been making a lot of changes to make it more than just a photo-sharing app. Instagram head Adam Mosseri too has said that the app is prioritizing videos in order to compete with TikTok and YouTube. The Facebook-owned company has now taken another major step in this direction. In a bid to make videos a more integral part of the platform, it has decided to merge IGTV format videos and Instagram feed videos. The new format will be simply called ‘Instagram Video.’ This will include both short as well as long-form videos.

They can be found in a new ‘Video’ tab under users’ profiles. The company said this will make it easier for users to discover new video content. The changes come at a time when the creator community is embracing video as a medium to tell express their emotions, connect with audiences, entertain and tell their stories. This is apparently why Instagram has decided to make it easier for users to create, share as well as discover videos on the platform. With the development, users will no longer have to differentiate between the long and short forms of videos.

IGTV was not able to attract users and its popularity as a standalone product was waning. It was launched in June 2018 with the intention of providing an alternative to YouTube. But the longer format never became that popular among Instagram users. This is why the company decided to drop the orange IGTV button from the home page in early 2020. This was decided as only 7 million users, out of over 1 billion subscribers at that time, had downloaded the standalone app of IGTV. There were reports that the IGTV app was downloaded 18 million times across Google Play and App Store.

However, the company tried to explain the decision to pull out the button by saying that users were getting most of the IGTV content through the previews shared to the Feed and in Explore. But the reality was that IGTV was leading to clutter rather than helping users in finding a suitable video. Despite all this, the IGTV app is here to stay. According to reports, the IGTV app will be rebranded as ‘Instagram Video’. The rebranded app will host the formatted content of ‘Instagram Video’ along with Instagram Live videos. The one thing that it will not host is Reels video.

Instagram shifted its focus to a shorter format with TikTok being launched in the United States. Ever since the app has been focusing its efforts on short video format Reels. Instagram launched Reels in August 2020 and has been aggressively pushing forward it. The company gave a central spot to Reels in the app’s navigation. But Reels still has lagged behind its competitors in terms of monetary benefits. In other words, Reels has not been able to offer a consistent way of generating revenue to get paid out just like its rival TikTok and YouTube. Meanwhile, users can tap anywhere on videos to view them in a full-screen mode. After watching the video, users can either get back by simply tapping the back button or can continue to enjoy more such videos by scrolling.

The important thing to note is that these changes will in no way impact what the company is doing with Reels. The company has apparently hinted that the short-form video, which it launched to take on rival TikTok, will continue to remain separate. This clearly means that videos of Reels won’t be available in the video feed. Even after the updates, users will be able to upload their non-Reels videos by following the old procedure i.e. by clicking on the plus sign on the Instagram home page. Users will be allowed to post videos up to 60 minutes in length. Apart from this, the company is adding some more features like trimming and filters as part of the updated upload experience.