After lackluster returns on downloads, Instagram is removing the button that let users access its standalone IGTV app, according to spokespeople.
The app only got about 7 million downloads from users since it launched in June of 2018, which is paltry compared to TikTok’s 1.15 billion downloads in the same time frame.
TikTok has spent more on advertising, but the lack of enthusiasm has IGTV changing things up and removing the button for the service commonly visible on the Instagram homepage.
A Facebook representative wrote about the situation, saying that they were continuing to work on making Instagram as user-friendly and accessible as possible. More people were accessing IGTV through other means such as previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore or creators’ profiles. Some, too, just opened the standalone app.
So, in the name of keeping everything as simple as possible, they removed the button.
In another change, Instagram will also allow users to post IGTV videos from the main Instagram feed post uploader. All of it, spokespeople said, is to create a central place for video uploads.
Users don’t need the separate app to watch videos. The IGTV experience is embedded in the main app and can be accessed by numerous other means, including in-feed teasers, a tab in the Explore page and stickers in Stories.
One aspect of IGTV that has come under criticism is the lack of a way for creators to make money off the service. A Facebook spokesperson said they’ve offered offsets for small production costs. But they ask that content creators refrain from touching on political and social issues.
Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder, said he had designed IGTV to try a new thing by way of longer-form videos that could be watched vertically on mobile devices, although Instagram began to allow landscape videos on the service by 2019.
Instagram could also face competition in the world of mobile videos from YouTube’s recent fashion vertical app, which capitalizes on the wealth of beauty and style content on the platform.