Did IGTV Fail? Get to know now! 2020 analysis | W3 Lab

Did IGTV Fail? Get to know now! 2020 analysis

Before we go in detail explaining if the IGTV had failed we would like to talk about IGTV itself.

What’s IGTV?

It represents a vertical-oriented, long-form video.

This new feature was introduced with celebrations all over the world, but its hype didn’t last long.

igtv icon - igtv
IGTV icon | Source

In first, IGTV was intended for the way you use your phone, with full screen and vertical videos. Each video can be an hour-long, unlike Instagram videos that are limited to one minute.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram founder and former CEO, was aware that this new vertical format will be harder to use, so he stated:

“One of the things I like most about IGTV is that it’s actually fairly difficult to just take videos that exist online and simply repost them. It basically forces everyone to create new stuff.”

Kevin Systrom

This was one of the factors why Instagram Television wasn’t a success.

Why IGTV flopped?

social media icons
Social Media icons | source

Instagram announced IGTV as the next big thing almost equal to YouTube. But having another channel for creating new content was a huge problem.

Here are some reasons why its fame didn’t last long:

  • Bad access
  • Difficult to use
  • No monetization

1. Its access wasn’t fitting and favorable to IG users

Initially, IGTV was hidden in its own app or you could use it by clicking on the top icon, right of the Instagram home feed. That felt like apart from Instagram and hard to navigate, which resulted in low views for the app.

In order to use it, people had to change their habits, which wasn’t quite a convenient thing.

2. Try a little harder

It takes a lot of patience to make a vertical video so a lot of people left the channel before it had even really begun.

Video editing consumes a lot of energy and time for those who create videos for YouTube.

To do that, they shot, edit, and publish in landscape video. Recording the same footage vertically and swapping videos involves a lot of effort.

Some people use alternatives like uploading similar content they would post on their IG stories, but shot and edit made by phone doesn’t give the perfect look.

The other option is to upload YouTube content and ask views to turn the screen. Both ways for getting the content out on IGTV are fine, but professionals would consider it as an amateur work.

3. No monetization system

This is a huge flaw, especially for those creators who come from YouTube. Money-making and revenue-sharing as features don’t even exist on IGTV.

Popular YouTubers can make from $3 to $10 per 1000 video views, while Instagram doesn’t pay for IGTV content.

Therefore, it can never become an alternative to YouTube since it doesn’t pay a thing.

If you have been on YouTube or Vine, then you should be familiar with content creators like Lele Pons, King Bach, and LaurDIY, on which the platform is working.

The company launched IGTV with the help of creators who already had plenty of followings in hope that they would also follow IGTV.

Those creators include LaurDIY with 4.6 million followers back then (now 8.87 million), KingBach with 16.4 million followers on Vin , and JiffPom the dog with 8.9 million followers (now 10.6 million).

The most among them are YouTubers. Collaboration with creators that work on both platforms is understandable since Instagram is stepping on YouTube’s ground.

LaurDIY posted only 2 IGTV videos to its channel, while JiffPom the dog hasn’t posted any.

If they want to win over the biggest star, they need to pay. This implies that people will have to install adverts within Instagram TV or pay for some content, which is not a favorable thing.

If creators don’t post on the platform, it is totally justifiable if users don’t use it because there is nothing to watch.

Why Instagram ditched the IGTV button?

no more igtv button
Instagram ditched the IGTV button| Photo by Salman Aslam on Flickr

A very simple explanation lies behind this decision – only a few users are clicking into the IGTV icon.

Instead, Instagram users are searching IGTV content through the IGTV channel in Explore, previews in Feed, creators’ profiles, and the stand-alone app.

Freeing valuable estate on the app is crucial, but it is still questionable is IGTV a platform worth investing in, and if it ever has been.

Recent researches show that Instagram is far from gaining the video format game.

For example, TikTok has achieved 80 times more downloads than IGTV since its launch in 2018.

IGTV launch event failed

In June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, the newest app that was even expected to rival YouTube. A grand event was planned in New York and it totally flopped.

igtv started in 2018
In 2018 Instagram launched IGTV | Source

The vertical Livestream of CEO Kevin Systrom from the launching event in San Francisco was streamed in New York. It ended up being a fiasco.

After 2 hours of delay, Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships came on stage to apologize by saying: “Have a drink… get lit”, she encouraged the crowd, which resulted in shattered glasses on the floor.

Teen chef Flynn McGarry made poke bowls with watermelons, foie gras with cherry compote, and cotton candy served in Champagne flutes for beloved guests.

After the stream started, the picture was cut out, leaving only the audio.

We think there are a handful of problems,” Systrom said right before the audio was cut out too, leaving the audience to think about how would he finished his thought.

Everyone laughed.

The event was even compared to the notorious Fyre Festival.

In the end, who cares about the messed-up launch?

Instagram can surely afford to have a glitch Livestream with its vast audience – 1 billion monthly users. 2 hours might have been wasted for those who expected something to happen right this moment, but it is the YouTube who shouldn’t be at ease.

Or so they thought.

The reality is that their plan didn’t realize as a success they had hoped for.

How IGTV operates?

As soon as you open the app, the IGTV starts playing. You can watch the content of people you already follow without searching right away.

If you want to discover more, you can swipe up the switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.”

Of course, you can like, send comments and videos to your friends in Direct messages.

IGTV today

Instagram’s parent company – Facebook hasn’t even expressed any concerns about IGTV’s issues.

In case you are not familiar, IGTV still exists within the Instagram app, in the app’s upper right corner.

It is next to the direct messages icon, inside an orange icon of a cartoon television.

People often click on it by accident, on their way to the direct messages.

A stand-alone IGTV app also exists, but most hadn’t even heard of it let alone downloaded it.

It is a common thought that Instagram has already given so much, so it is like there was no need to create IGTV.

Why would you create something more complicated when you can post your stories regularly and save them to your highlights?

Besides Instagram live and posting stories and photos, there were so many things that could make the platform better, but unfortunately, IGTV wasn’t one of them.

The change in the way hashtags work has improved the user experience on Instagram, for example.


IGTV isn’t a refreshing idea for Instagram. Actually, it is something borrowed from other platforms. We say borrowed because it is working for other platforms.

The best thing that can happen for IGTV is that it develops some sort of cult following and become popular like Vine. But right now, that isn’t happening.

Instagram as the social-media represents the place where you can enjoy short, entertaining video updates, but not long and produced materials. For that purpose, you can simply go to YouTube.

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