Instagram Is Testing a New Display Layout for IGTV Content

Is IGTV going to become a larger consideration in 2020?

It’s difficult to say what the future holds for Instagram’s dedicated video platform, but as discovered by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram is still working on new ways to get more people engaging with IGTV content.

IGTV format

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Wong, Instagram is working on a new format for IGTV content which would switch your main feed into a vertical scrolling list, leading you through to the next video in stream. Instagram’s also looking to add categories into your IGTV discovery listings – for comparison, here’s how IGTV currently looks in the app.

IGTV current format

The new layout – which, as noted, is only in test mode and may never be rolled out – seems more aligned with the vertical scrolling of TikTok, and less like the current clone of Snapchat’s Discover listings, which could point to where Instagram thinks user attention is shifting.

Splitting the videos into categories, meanwhile, could be a better way to get users more engaged in new content. Rather than seeing a generic listing of top content, providing topic-streams could help guide users to what they’re more interested in, which Instagram could then optimize for based on each person’s activity.

IGTV seemingly hasn’t taken off as Instagram might have hoped as yet, but with Snapchat’s original programming seeing big viewer numbers this year, you can bet that Instagram will be looking to give IGTV another push in 2020, which this new discovery format could play a part in.

Will that help to push IGTV into the broader consciousness, and get more people interested in the offering? There are ways in which IGTV could become a more compelling option, and actually, it’s hard to say which has more potential – Facebook Watch or IGTV. 

With younger viewers becoming more attuned to short-form, episodic content online, IGTV seems well-placed to potentially capitalize on this. Whether that happens or not is another thing entirely. 

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