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Instagram shuts down its YouTube competitor IGTV app for long form videos

Instagram, which is owned by Meta, is discontinuing its standalone app for Instagram TV (IGTV) in favour of keeping all videos on the main Instagram app. The IGTV app, which was launched as Instagram’s alternative to YouTube, did not meet the expectations of the company when it was first released in 2018. It does, however, mark the end of Instagram’s experiment with longer videos.

Instagram announced in a blog post that the standalone IGTV app will be discontinued as part of its “efforts to make videos as simple and feasible to discover and produce as possible.” According to the blog post, videos on the main app will have a full-screen viewer with tap-to-mute functionality, and the company is also working on an easier way to share and view videos.

Instagram also plans to “experiment with a technology that will introduce advertisements on Reels.” Instagram’s parent company, Meta, acknowledged the IGTV app’s demise and was quoted by TechCrunch as claiming that the service will be completely decommissioned in mid-March.

The IGTV app was launched in 2018 with the goal of competing with YouTube in the vertical video space. The Instagram app also had an IGTV button that took users to IGTV content on the main app, but Instagram removed the button in 2020, claiming that it was rarely used, and the company announced last year that IGTV would be rebranded “Instagram TV.” The company also stated that it plans to extend the hour-long time limit on IGTV to regular videos.

Advertisements known as IGTV ads that were placed in videos longer than a minute in length have also been removed from the site, and the company has stated that it intends to focus heavily on videos. This comes after the company announced last year that it would no longer be a photo-sharing app.

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