Back in June 2018, Instagram launched the IGTV app to watch long-form vertical videos. The app was seen as a YouTube competitor and the Facebook-owned platform also integrated the feature in its main app via the IGTV icon at the top right corner. However, Instagram is now removing the icon from its main app, simply because not many people are using it.
The IGTV icon is no longer visible on the home screen in the latest version of the Instagram app. As per a report by TechCrunch, Instagram has admitted that not many users were actually tapping on the IGTV icon and most of the IGTV content is served to the users 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," a Facebook company spokesperson told the publication. "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 lives in the app
It does not mean that Instagram is removing the IGTV integration from its main app. Only the IGTV icon will be gone while users will still be able to access the IGTV content on the main Instagram app in their feed, in the Explore tab, as well as via the creator's profile. Users will need to tap on the bottom left corner of an IGTV video to view it in full screen.
Notably, the IGTV app also continues to exist. However, it has not been very successful on the App Store and Google Play Store in terms of download numbers. While Instagram boasts of a huge user base of 1 billion-plus members, the IGTV app could only amass seven million downloads in the 18 months of its existence.
For reference, TikTok was downloaded more than 1.15 billion times in the same period. According to market analyst Sensor Tower, TikTok and its Chinese equivalent Douyin, amassed a combined 740 million downloads last year, overtaking Facebook and Messenger to become the world's second most downloaded app-- only behind WhatsApp.