Landscape video on IGTV is now a thing

Instagram has been known for only offering vertical videos, and it didn’t seem like that was going to change. Well, we were wrong. Instagram now supports landscape videos.

Instagram has just announced it will support vertical video and will say goodbye to its vertical-only requirement. This may come as a shock to some because Instagram has been adamant about keeping its vertical video format. In many ways, it was what was going to keep IGTV unique. There are already many other video platforms that offer the traditional horizontal format, so why is IGTV letting go of its unique vertical only format? Let’s dig in.

IGTV failed to capture an audience

Instagram had high hopes for IGTV. They invested in a number of big creators in hopes they’d attract eyes with IGTV content. They also hoped the creators’ fanbases would follow them to IGTV and download the app. Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t see as much success as Instagram hoped.

So, Instagram is now changing is approach and is embracing landscape video rather than reject it.

“We realize this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators,” Instagram 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.”

The quote above reveals Instagram’s thought process behind opening up to landscape video. It’s to grow an audience, which they’ve had issues with since the launch of IGTV. It was hard for their big-name content creators to make videos for both YouTube and IGTV because of their formatting. Many of them just didn’t post to IGTV because their main audience is on YouTube. That resulted in a lack of content on IGTV. Now that videos can be viewed in landscape, we could see more YouTubers cross-posting on both YouTube and IGTV.

Is it smooth sailing for IGTV now?

While IGTV may be making it easier on content creators to post on IGTV, the platform still has a huge issue and that’s monetization. Currently, IGTV offers no way to monetize content. While YouTube had ad placements, IGTV doesn’t. Also, brands haven’t started paying creators to make long-form IGTV content yet.

However, IGTV has seemingly solved one of its biggest problems. Creators now no longer have to go the extra mile to edit their landscape YouTube videos or create special content for IGTV. We should expect to see a bump in content being posted to IGTV now. And that could mean more interest in IGTV.

Image courtesy Instagram

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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