As we’ve written before, Instagram wants its vertical video platform to succeed so bad they’re adding support for landscape video. Since it launched last year, IGTV has been solely dedicated to vertical videos but this new change will be a welcome to creators who are playing around with this platform. Instagram has heard their feedback and answered their prayers and is bringing the ability to watch landscape videos and in fullscreen.
Instagram is hoping this new feature will help them gain traction just as they did when they opened up aspect ratios for photos so users were not limited to posting just square photos. Other features have worked well such as the collections feature while others not so good including ruining how we interact with carousel photos and them killing off Direct, their standalone messaging app.
With this announcement, you’ll still be able to watch the new landscape videos in portrait but with the black bars on top and below. Changing your phone’s orientation to landscape will expand the videos to fully cover the screen.
The giant photo sharing platform adds in a blog post that the new features increased engagement and hopefully the same tactic will work with IGTV, but will it really?
We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators
IGTV platform has had a lot of trouble attracting and keeping creators when compared to other rival platforms like TikTok or SnapChat. Creators have lost interest and those that still try to create IGTV content agree that there isn’t enough incentive to post quality content. IGTV content requires a lot of work to shoot vertical videos and the views are discouraging but the crossposting IGTV video previews to their feed saw the views rise. The content also can’t be monetized as few brands are yet to start approaching creators for them to make vertical videos exclusive to IGTV. All these are factors to consider.
Instagram now supporting landscape videos is them realizing that nobody wants to create content that’s exclusive to IGTV and we should expect YouTube videos to be ported over the platform. In my opinion, if this is the approach Instagram is going with, then IGTV loses its essence and TikTok is going to win at this in terms of vertical video.