Instagram Live Video & Ephemeral Direct Messaging
As one half of a two-part major update, Instagram live video capabilities have begun rolling out with an ephemeral twist on Stories to users globally. The new feature comes alongside yet another Snapchat-esque addition that allows users to send disappearing photos and videos as direct messages.
The announcement of Instagram live video was made in a post on the official Instagram Blog. More detailed information about how to use these new features has also been added to the Instagram Help Center, giving users simple step-by-step instructions on how to use Instagram live video and share ephemeral content on Instagram Direct.
The fact that live video would soon be coming to Instagram was originally hinted at by CEO Kevin Systrom at the beginning of the month. At that point, little indication was given as to how long users would have to wait before these features arrived; apparently far less time than expected.
Instagram has been steadily adding more and more features that resemble those on rival network Snapchat for the past few months. These have likely been a bid to entice more Snapchat users (typically young adults and teenagers) away and onto Instagram. The image sharing network has experienced major growth in the past year, but a larger percentage of this growth has been outside the US where younger users are clinging desperately to its rival.
Instagram have this to say about the update - we have added a few personal translations to it in bold brackets to give you a better idea of what might be going on:
“In August, we introduced Instagram Stories as a way to share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile [and to steal back all those pesky kids from our nemeses over at Snap]. We’ve seen stories open up a new side of what people share on Instagram [because they can’t be bothered to switch to Snapchat anymore when the same features are already there for them], and now over 100 million people use it every day [so our takeover has, so far, been fruitful]... you’ll soon have two more ways to share freely and in the moment.”
Joking aside, Instagram are following the tide of the most successful social networks in expanding their video capabilities and embracing live content - something that has experienced major growth in popularity throughout 2016.
In this day and age, key social networks have to ensure they envisage and expand with user’s developing preferences. Facebook has taken this to a new level this year; barely a day goes by when they aren’t trialing a new potential feature. Unlike Twitter who only recently discovered what QR codes are.