Instagram has quietly removed a button that was perched on the top of people’s feeds and directed people to IGTV, its fledgling long-form video hub.
The IGTV button used to be next to the direct-message arrow on the top right corner of the app. People weren’t clicking on the button they were discovering videos other ways, Instagram admitted in a statement.
“As we’ve continued to work on making it easier for people to create and discover IGTV content, we’ve learned that most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators’ profiles and the standalone app,” a spokesperson said. “Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app.”
The Facebook-owned company debuted IGTV in 2018 in an effort to compete with YouTube: It lets people post vertical videos. The length of the videos depends on the number of followers a person has, but the maximum time is an hour. Before IGTV, Instagram had only allowed people post videos that were 60 seconds or shorter.
Some social media influencers said a big reason IGTV hasn’t been popular is because there’s no way for them to make money from the feature. On YouTube, similar-length videos can include ads that generate revenue for creators.
IGTV content will continue to be viewable on a standalone app, in people’s feeds and through an IGTV button on the Explore page.