The hits and misses of IGTV


IGTV is a standalone app and Instagram extension that supports longer videos. The app was launched when Instagram hit 1 billion users.

90% of businesses are using Instagram to reach out to their markets, which made Instagram even more indispensable since its launching in 2010.

Instagram has since introduced updated features, including Stories, which became very popular and led to a decline in the number of Snapchat users.

Last year, the app reported an increase of 60% in users video viewing from 2017. In January of this year, they said that 500 Million users used Stories every day.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO, had hoped for IGTV to trail the success of Instagram. However, the video extension app did not get users hooked the way Systrom’s team wanted them to be. 

Early adoption

A significant contributing factor to IGTV’s inferior beginning was media speculation that it would contend with the video-sharing platform YouTube. The IGTVs selling point is its vertical video. Content creators were therefore skeptical about using it because it meant doing two separate videos for IGTV and YouTube, which supported the horizontal format.

Further, YouTube’s advanced analytics make it easier for brands and influencers to know what their target audience really likes. IGTV, on the other hand, automatically subscribes users to specific IGTV channels.

Nevertheless, some brands and influencers adopted IGTV to publicize exclusive content or post their broadcast segments.

Singer-songwriter John Mayer uses IGTV to broadcast “Current Mood,” his 45-minute talk show that features important guests from the music industry.


IGTV has successfully increased the engagement of existing followers but struggles to attract new users to the platform.

After gathering feedback from users, IGTV implemented two improvements to the app. The first released additional feature was in February of this year. It allowed creators to publish 60-seconder previews of their channels on their IG feeds, which encouraged followers to click through and resume watching on IGTV. This feature has resulted in a 300% to 1,000% increase in views on the platform.

During May of this year, IGTV announced that it would finally be supporting the horizontal video format. This feature has been embraced by content creators and brands, who can now produce single content for two platforms, the IGTV and YouTube.


Unlike YouTube, there are currently no ways to monetize user engagement on IGTV. But during the app’s launch a year ago, Systrom hinted at the possibility of paid advertisements through the platform.

What’s in store?

The recent updates to IGTV have made a significant impact on user engagement in the platform. Whether or not it will revamp the current status of the social video landscape remains to be seen. What’s definite is that Instagram continues to play a significant role in the marketing strategies of many brands.