Instagram is now putting IGTV previews on users' main newsfeeds, the company announced Thursday. Like regular videos, IGTV previews will autoplay, but the user needs to tap it to activate audio.
The one-minute previews are rolling out now. Instagram first introduced IGTV in June 2018 as a stand-alone app for videos. Since then, the Facebook-owned company has been looking for ways to integrate it into the main app, first by putting IGTV videos in the Explore tab, then by putting out occasional notification banners for new videos, and finally by giving users the ability to add IGTV previews to their own stories.
IGTV Previews On Your Feed
This, however, is its most aggressive attempt yet to peddle IGTV content to Instagram users who haven't jumped into the bandwagon.
"Now, you can preview IGTV videos in your feed. When there's a new video from someone you follow, you can tap from your feed to watch the full video in IGTV," Instagram announced on Twitter.
Instagram launched IGTV as a way for users to share longer videos. It's part of Instagram's strategy to allow creators more freedom, which in turn could lead them to share more content. It's also an attempt to take on YouTube and Twitch, two of the most popular platforms for creators and long-form videos. Content can range from 10 minutes to a full hour for larger accounts.
However, the platform still seems somewhat lacking in terms of overall interface and functionality, especially compared with what YouTube and Twitch have to offer. Not to mention that its insistence on vertical videos is seen by most creators as a hindrance.
Creators enjoy certain freedom on Twitch and YouTube, most of which, while present on IGTV, aren't as polished or streamlined. Still, it's clear Instagram wants a stake of the creators market, more specifically the amount of people they entice with their content. The challenge is to create a platform that will make them want to stay for good or perhaps even leave Twitch or YouTube behind.
Since its debut, IGTV has received criticism on a number of aspects. In September 2018, it was reported that the platform had been routinely recommending inappropriate content to young users. This isn't limited to IGTV, however. YouTube has also received intense criticism over similar cases of its algorithm showing less-than-decent content to children, not to mention constant and seemingly arbitrary recommendations of extremist and conspiracy theory videos.