Could the removal of the IGTV button mean bigger things?

Instagram has announced that it is removing the IGTV button from its main platform. However, there are no plans to get rid of the standalone IGTV app. If anything, there could be more of an emphasis on this service than ever before.

The IGTV button did not even last till its second birthday. However, could bigger plans be on the card for the video content platform? Photo: Pikrepo

Already time for a change

TechCrunch reports that Instagram’s parent Facebook decided to drop the button because not many users were tapping it.

“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 for Facebook told TechCrunch.

“Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app”

By looking at this statement, it doesn’t seem that Facebook is looking to put IGTV on the back burner. Instead, it looks like the tech giant is looking to change its route to market.

Mark Zuckerberg Profile
This is yet another change made under Mark Zuckerberg in the last year as he continues to overhaul his platforms. Photo: Facebook

Stepping up the in the ranks

The service was introduced to allow for longer videos compared to standard Instagram posts. Even though not many people supposedly pressed the button, many still saw its related content on their feeds.

With this in mind, Facebook may be looking to direct more people to the standalone app going forward. This could effectively give the group another strong platform for its audience to spend their time on.

Rather than pushing IGTV as an add on, it could now be promoting it as its own video service. This was probably the idea from the beginning as it has the potential to rival against the likes of YouTube.

Facebook has already invested heavily in its Facebook Live and Facebook Gaming arms over the last few years. The latter is in a prime position to dominate the game streaming universe this decade following a series of key acquisitions.

Therefore, IGTV could be used to pull away from other segments of YouTube such as music or tutorial content creators, which have already experimented with IGTV.

YouTube logo
YouTube’s dominance could be under threat by the time this decade is over. Photo: jm3 via Flickr

A needed measure

Only 1 percent of Instagram’s users have already downloaded the standalone app. This stat may imply that Facebook’s decision to rely on it to be a risky move. However, this percentage is so low because there isn’t any incentive for users to download the app. This is because they can already use the service on Instagram.

Therefore, Facebook could be going all-in on the IGTV app. If it wants to compete in longer-form content against its rivals it will have to treat the service as its own entity rather than a spinoff. Ultimately, if Facebook focuses more on the app then so will its audience.

What are your thoughts on Facebook dropping the IGTV button on its main app? Do you see IGTV succeeded in its own right? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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