The strange button arrived in summer 2018, when Instagram announced that it was launching a separate app focused on longer videos.
In the time since, it has stayed at the top, next to the icon that takes users to their direct messages. The company had presumably placed it in a particularly conspicuous position as it attempted to encourage people to use the video service.
But now it has said that “very few” people were using the button, and that it has been removed. The button has probably already disappeared for most users, clearing up the home screen of the app.
Instagram said that “most people” were finding videos from IGTV using other methods – though the overall number of people downloading the app is still thought to be very low.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told Techcrunch. “Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app.
“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.”
Instagram launched IGTV as a separate app in June 2018. At the time, it was touted as a possible challenger for video-focused apps like YouTube and TikTok, but it remained relatively small.
The disappearance of the button mirrors another downgrade of the separate video service, with Instagram also making it possible for creators to upload their longer videos through the normal Instagram app rather than specific IGTV one.