First launched in June 2018, IGTV is Instagram's long-form video streaming service that's designed to compete with youtube. IGTV focuses on full-screen vertical video, with the ability to interact with other users while watching videos.
The Facebook-owned company told TechCrunch that it was removing the button because not enough users were tapping it, and that people were discovering IGTV content in other ways.
"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. Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app" a Facebook company spokesperson tells TechCrunch. "We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we're removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community."
IGTV hasn't completely gone away in Instagram. Users wanting to access IGTV content within the app can still do so by tapping the IGTV tab inside Instagram Explore (the same screen as the search function). People can also post IGTV videos right from the main Instagram feed post video uploader.
According to TechCrunch, no more than 7 million of Instagram's 1 billion-plus users have downloaded the standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since it launched, so it makes sense that Instagram is folding the service deeper into its app. But with the massive success of rival platforms like TikTok, it's hard to predict where IGTV turns next in order to increase adoption rates.