Instagram is not necessarily removing its Instagram TV but the fact that they’re now making a major change on how to access IGTV is pretty telling. The main app is removing the orange IGTV button in the home feed, even though you can still access it in other places within the app. This means that the long-form video format has not been the success they expected it to be, unlike previous features that they released like Stories, Close Friends, etc.
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that they have evaluated how people are accusing IGTV content and their conclusion is that they’re not doing so from that homefeed icon. They say that people are watching the long-form videos through the previews in the main feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, profiles of the creators of IGTV videos, and even the standalone app. They say they want to keep Instagram “as simple as possible”, hence removing the icon at the top which no one seems to be using.
While they created a stand-alone IGTV app, you don’t necessarily need to have one to be able to watch the videos as they’re already embedded in the main app. Instagram did not give numbers on how many people are actually viewing IGTV but we’re guessing they haven’t reached the peak yet as usually they would announce things when they reach big numbers. Even though the format is slightly different, TikTok is probably a big threat to Instagram right now with its massive popularity.
One problem that IGTV has from the creator side is that they currently have no way of earning money directly from the videos they create and upload. Unlike with YouTube and Facebook Watch, they don’t get ad revenue. They are also unable to sell exclusive content subscriptions like with Facebook, Twitch, or Patreon. Instagram sometimes would reimburse production costs but it’s only for selected celebrities.
Another new thing for Instagram and IGTV is that you can now post IGTV videos right from the main Instagram feed. This is part of their goal to make video upload as simple as possible and to have just one place for all your video uploads.