Live and Kicking Off - Instagram Announces New Live Broadcasts

Cream Blog
Instagram has been plugging away at finding different avenues to take on its rival Snapchat, and one of the most obvious examples of it fronting up was the introduction of Instagram Stories. Yesterday, Instagram announced yet another string to its Story bow, by enabling users to broadcast live stories. This maybe marks Facebook pulling ahead a little as the race, as live broadcast is not yet possible on Snapchat. Instagram also dropped another feature with this update, with disappearing photos for groups and friends on Instagram direct, again striving towards the ephemerality of Snapchat.

Stories was put out by Instagram in August, basically directly in response to Snapchat, and has already garnered over 100 million daily active users. They allow users to publish content that may not pop enough for their main profile, essentially driving even more app engagement time and user output. The two new updates push this direction even further, keeping the focus on this transient content.

Live Stories

Live stories lets you broadcast live streams through the Story section of the Instagram layout. In keeping with the fleeting photo theme, all of the live story content will disappear when the broadcast ends, so feel free to be as ridiculous as you want, at least until you see that 10's name pop up in your audience list.

Going live will be as simple as tapping a little button on the camera screen, and you can do it for up to an hour at a time. Friends will be notified of your newfound streaming calling, and they can view your story from the same place all the normal, static stories are placed. They can then comment and like on your live stream as much as they like. Other people's live stories will also begin to appear in the Explore tab, with the top ones highlighted, and viewers able to swipe around between them. Live stories will roll out globally over the next few weeks.

Disappearing Photos & Videos in Direct

Photos and videos can now be taken and shared with groups and friends through Instagram's Direct messaging section, and will disappear when viewed, with senders notified of replays or screenshots. Soooo, basically Snapchat.

Apparently, you can "send anything you want, from inside jokes to your worst selfies." Yeah, and that other category of pictures that Snapchat is famed for. Fortunately, you can only send these disappearing golden nuggets to your followers, so unsolicited ones shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Overall, this diversification from permanent highlight content to including more ephemeral content is a wise move, given how great a proportion of what people publish is in this temporary space. It's definitely a step further onto Snapchat's territory, and it will be interesting to see how the two duke it out going forward. At least you can feel free to stream your inane riveting daily life, kind of like a personal Gogglebox. Just don't send out your other personal Gogglebox, at least unless someone asked for it.

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