At long last, Instagram has finally given in to landscape mode and is rolling out support for IGTV content in that orientation.
The move comes a year after the photo and video-sharing service made a bold claim that it could popularize long-form vertical videos, and so committed it was that landscape videos weren't even allowed.
Instagram's Vertical Video Plans Didn't Pan Out
Now, however, a dedicated hub for long-form portrait-mode video won't appear anywhere at all. Following feedback from creators, Instagram is retreating from its original commitment of making vertical videos mainstream. Which is to say users can now start uploading content in landscape mode as well, and these videos will be shown in their original orientation when audiences turn their phone sideways. This is how it's going to work now and moving forward on both the standalone IGTV app and its hub within Instagram.
Back in August, cofounder Kevin System said he was proud Instagram was experimenting with video orientations, saying that there's nothing like full-screen vertical video for mobile anywhere else. Until this new update, landscape videos on IGTV were shown with giant letterboxes on the top and bottom just to meet the vertical video requirement. Turning the phone sideways wouldn't do anything at all; users were stuck in portrait mode.
Instagram seems to have acquired a new perspective on how it shows content altogether, saying that orientation doesn't matter. That's a far cry from a year ago, when it was fully confident vertical video would take over.
"In many ways, opening IGTV to more than just vertical videos is similar to when we opened Instagram to more than just square photos in 2015," said Instagram. "It enabled creativity to flourish and engagement to rise — and we believe the same will happen again with IGTV."
According to Sensor Tower, the standalone IGTV app has just 4.2 million installs, representing just a fraction of the success of Instagram Stories, the app's Snapchat clone. As such, it makes sense to make it friendlier toward people who'd much rather have the option to watch content in the orientation they prefer instead of foisting vertical videos on them.
Do you think IGTV will be more successful now that it supports landscape videos? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!