Instagram has removed the IGTV shortcut button that has been sitting in the top right corner of the app's home screen since 2018. According to Tech Crunch, the company decided to remove the button after it found that only a very small number of Instagram users were tapping it.
"Most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators' profiles and the standalone app. Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app," an Instagram spokesperson told Tech Crunch.
"We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we're removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community."
IGTV a rare miss for Facebook?
Instagram launched IGTV in June 2018 to rival the likes of YouTube in mobile video service. However, this long-form mobile video service from the Facebook-owned company never got going. It has struggled to attract creators as it doesn't offer an open way to earn money, like revenue-share opportunities from ads on YouTube or Facebook Watch.
Not just creators, IGTV has struggled to attract viewers as well. Despite Instagram having more than a billion users globally, the standalone IGTV app has only received about 7 million downloads since its launch.
To put that into perspective, rival app TikTok received 1.15 billion downloads in the same period.
The short-form video sharing service received 80.5 million downloads in the US alone, compared to IGTV's 1.1 million.
That said, IGTV and TikTok cater to separate services. While IGTV focuses on long-form mobile video, TikTok does the opposite and focuses on short-form video.
So IGTV might still gain its own fair share in the market over time, but Instagram doesn't seem to have cracked the code yet.
IGTV is already accessible through Instagram and doesn't need a separate app. However, the IGTV button on the home screen served as a shortcut for Instagram users to browse IGTV content. It now going away means users will have to dig deeper into Instagram to find IGTV content.
While users still have the choice of downloading the standalone IGTV app, Instagram doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic about it. Not just browsing, but it now allows users to upload IGTV videos through the main app as well.
Users will be able to choose between short video (for Instagram) and long video (for IGTV) before uploading. It remains to be seen where Facebook takes IGTV from here on.