The Facebook-owned Instagram launched its long-form video content platform, IGTV, back in 2018. Since then, the company has been all-in with vertical video, meant to be viewed on smartphones without switching to landscape. But it looks like that focus has shifted, and landscape video will finally be supported.
The Verge reports this week that Instagram’s IGTV, the original content platform meant for long-form content, is finally going to support landscape video. Up until this point the only way to watch IGTV content was with vertical video. That might be okay for a lot of content on IGTV, but some long-form content is simply better suited for landscape video support.
The change in support comes from a couple of different avenues. First, creator feedback. Second, it turns out that some viewers are already finding landscape video content on IGTV, but those videos are still being displayed in portrait mode. Making them even smaller and less appealing since users can’t actually rotate their phone to get the full experience.
We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators,” the company says in a blog post. “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. It enabled creativity to flourish and engagement to rise — and we believe the same will happen again with IGTV.
Creator feedback probably played a huge role in this, especially from those who were already publishing landscape content on a platform that doesn’t actually support it. Most of that probably comes down to the creators who also publish content on other platforms, like YouTube. Having to recut the footage, or even shoot it differently just for IGTV probably wasn’t something a lot of creators wanted to shove into their already full schedules.
Still, better late than never. IGTV also just picked up a new, streamlined interface to make finding content even easier. And now that landscape video is finally getting supported, IGTV may actually find even more eyeballs tuning in on a regular basis.
Can IGTV take on TikTok? That still remains to be seen.