Instagram is ending support for its standalone app for IGTV, the company announced on Monday. Meta, Instagram’s parent company, confirmed to TechCrunch that the app will be removed from app stores in mid-March. In a blog post, the company explained that the change is part of its efforts to make video as simple as possible to discover and create. Instagram says it will now focus on having all video on its main app and that it will continue to simplify and improve video in the main Instagram app over the coming months.
Today’s announcement comes as Instagram ditched its IGTV branding last October when it combined IGTV’s long-form video and Instagram feed videos into a new format called simply “Instagram Video.” At the time, Instagram had said the IGTV app wouldn’t be going away and would instead be rebranded.
The company also announced today that in-stream video ads, previously known as IGTV ads, will no longer be supported as it shifts its focus to Reels. Instagram says creators who are actively monetizing with in-stream video ads will receive a temporary monthly payment based on recent earnings. Although this seems like a step back in terms of creator monetization, Instagram revealed that it’s exploring more ways for users to earn revenue. Later this year, the company will begin testing a new ad experience on Instagram, which will allow users to earn revenue from ads displayed on their Reels. The new monetization option will join the Reels bonus program, which offers creators opportunities to earn money each month.
As part of today’s announcements, Instagram reiterated its focus on Reels, its short-form video TikTok rival. The company notes that Reels continue to be the largest contributor to engagement growth on the app and that it plans to continue to invest in the feature.
“Video is a huge part of why people enjoy Instagram, and we love how our creator community uses it to express themselves, collaborate with others, and connect with their followers,” the company said in the blog post. “Reels continues to be a growing and important part of Instagram and we are excited to invest even more in this format.”
The decision to shut down IGTV’s standalone app was already losing ground as a standalone product. In early 2020, Instagram dropped the orange IGTV button from Instagram’s home page due to lack of traction. The move came at a time when, at most, just 7 million of Instagram’s 1-billion-plus users had downloaded the standalone IGTV app, TechCrunch previously reported, citing Sensor Tower research.