When Instagram copied Stories from Snapchat, it experienced a massive increase in engagement levels. At the start of this year, Facebook announced that Instagram Stories now has 500 million active daily users. While Instagram may have nailed the Stories format, it isn't really doing quite well when it comes to its long-form video product, IGTV. The Facebook-owned company is now drawing some inspiration from Snapchat and TikTok to improve IGTV's design and features.
Instagram has already rolled out its new design for IGTV, available on the standalone app as well as within the main Instagram app. The redesign somewhat resonates with other popular apps such as TikTok and Snapchat. Instagram is essentially looking to pick up what's working for both TikTok and Snapchat and integrating it within IGTV.
IGTV no longer offers its traditional navigation tabs such as 'For You', 'Following', 'Popular', and 'Continue Watching'. Instead, the long-form video app now offers a single feed that is controlled by a bunch of algorithms. This is how TikTok displays its content.
Another interesting part about the redesign is the new vertical scroll that resembles Snapchat's Discover feed. IGTV users can scroll vertically to see a grid of algorithmically recommended videos. The first video at the top plays automatically while the user can tap to play other videos in the grid.
Earlier, Instagram had started showing IGTV videos in users' feed in the main app, offering a preview of a video directly in the feed. This offered users a chance to try out IGTV videos while increasing engagement on the side.
Last week, Instagram's product lead on Explore Will Ruben told TechCrunch that the idea behind redesigning IGTV is to make it 'more immersive'.
IGTV, as a standalone app, isn't doing very well as of now. The app doesn't rank anywhere on the overall charts on app stores. According to Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app on the App Store in the first quarter of 2019.
Instagram may not be worried about the IGTV app as of now since all the long-form videos are already neatly placed right within the main app. But to increase its engagement further, the company seems to be toying with a bunch of ideas. The long-form portrait-only format is slightly different from the content you'll normally find on TikTok and that's probably the one thing holding it back.