Instagram to shut down its YouTube competitor app IGTV

Instagram ends support for its standalone long-form video app IGTV later this month. Instead, it will keep all videos on the main Instagram app, the company said on February 28.

The Meta-owned video and photo-sharing app said this move is part of its efforts to make it as simple as possible to discover and create.

“We believe this makes it easier for people to have all these features and abilities in the main app, and are excited to continue to simplify and improve video in the main Instagram app over the coming months,” the company said in a blogpost.

This development was likely on the cards for a while now, after Instagram discarded IGTV branding last year by merging IGTV videos with its feed videos to create a new format called Instagram Video. It had also introduced a new video tab on user profiles where videos in the new format lived.

Instagram had introduced IGTV in June 2018 in a bid to take on Google’s YouTube, allowing users to upload hour-long videos onto the platform. However, the service failed to take off among its users, and Instagram subsequently refocused its video efforts towards short-form video following the success of Reels across the world.

Reels is now becoming the centerpiece of Facebook’s product strategy amid increased video consumption on the platform.

On February 3, Mark Zuckerberg had said during the company’s earnings conference call that Reels is their “fastest-growing content format by far.” It is also the most significant contributor to engagement growth on Instagram, primarily when the tech giant aims to attract new younger audiences onto its platform.

In the blog post, Instagram said it would continue to invest in simplifying its video formats over the coming months, making it easier to create and watch videos on the platform. “We are also working to create one, consistent way to share your videos, bringing together creation tools and offering new ways to discover content,” the company said.

Interestingly, this announcement also comes on the same day that one of its biggest rivals, TikTok, is expanding the maximum length of its videos from 3 minutes to 10 minutes. TikTok is currently banned in India, which has proved beneficial for Instagram’s growth over the past year.

Instagram pulls support for in-stream video ads.

Instagram also announced on February 28 that it would also no longer support in-stream video ads(previously known as IGTV ads) as it shifted focus to Reels. Creators actively monetizing with in-stream video ads will receive a temporary monthly payment based on recent earnings.

The company said it is exploring more ways creators can earn money from creating reels.

Later this year, Instagram said it would begin testing a new ad experience on its platform that will allow creators to earn revenue from ads displayed on their reels. The service currently has a Reels Play bonus program that helps creators make money based on the performance of their Reels.

Last week, Meta had said that it would test sharing of ad revenues from Facebook Reels in the coming weeks. The company had said it is expanding tests of overlay ads to all creators in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with plans to extend to more countries in the coming weeks.

Creators who are currently able to monetize their on-demand videos with in-stream ads will be automatically eligible to monetize with overlay ads. By mid-March, these tests will expand to creators in nearly all 53 countries where in-stream ads are available, including India, Meta said on February 23.

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