Instagram is far from done when it comes to rolling out Snapchat-inspired features for its users. The company has now announced two new features, called Instagram Live and Instagram Direct ephemeral. With these new features, Instagram has essentially added an ephemeral twist to the process of privately sharing videos and messages. Both these features work on the Android and iOS apps, and are being steadily rolled out to all users in the coming weeks. Also Read - Instagram will now show ads on Reels just like StoriesAlso Read - Accidently broke Snapchat streak with friends? Here's how to restore it
The Instagram Live feature may seem very similar to Facebook Live, but the biggest difference here is its ephemeral quality. Essentially, one will only be able to watch a live video while it is being streamed. There is currently no option to replay a live video after the user has stopped streaming. To start a live video, a user would need to swipe on the Instagram Stories camera and select ‘Live’. The app will choose a select group of your followers and notify them that you have gone live. Once live, a user can stream a video for up to an hour, and the UI is reminiscent of Periscope in the way it allows users to comment or tap repeatedly to add hearts. Broadcasters too can comment while streaming a video, or even opt to switch off commenting all together. At the time of filing this story though, the live option is not available on our iOS app. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
Last year, Instagram introduced a new Direct feature to let users share Instagram posts with friends on the app, and privately discuss them. The company says that since launch, Instagram Direct is being used by over 300 million users monthly. Instagram has now added a disappearing capability to Direct Messages, wherein a message shared between friends can only be viewed twice before it vanishes. In other words, Instagram Direct is now more Snapchat-like than before.
One can swipe right to the camera to either click a photo or record a video, and then tap the arrow to send it privately to a friend or group. The content not only disappear once your friend has seen them, but the app will also notify you if any friend replayed the video or took a screenshot of your photo. To help distinguish between disappearing direct messages and normal chats, Instagram is putting an outline around the icons, quite similar to how Stories are displayed at the top of one’s main feed.
It may seem a bit counterintuitive for Instagram to be launching a live video feature, which would compete against Facebook Live. But by giving it ephemeral qualities, Instagram is hoping to attract a different sort of audience, someone who is more inclined towards Snapchat. Both Facebook and Instagram has unabashedly admitted that some of its new features are inspired by Snapchat. It was a similar case when the company launched Instagram Stories earlier this year, and the strategy actually seem to be working. The company claims that since launch more than 100 million people use the Stories feature every day. ALSO READ: Instagram adds Boomerang, mentions to Stories: Here s everything you need to know