Instagram goes live, adds disappearing photos and videos in Direct feature

Instagram is bringing a feature from its parent company — live video.  Unlike Facebook’s implementation, which is primarily geared toward media content, Instagram’s Live Video is a blend of Twitter’s Periscope and Snapchat and targets the average person.

The app’s Live Video feature is embedded into its Snapchat-esque Stories, a feature introduced in August. You will now see “Live” under a contact’s name when they are sharing in the moment. What is unique about Instagram’s implementation is that your live video disappears after you stop streaming and the company believes people will feel more “comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”

Starting a Live Video is simple — swipe from the right of the feed to launch the camera. Tap “Start Live Video” to get things rolling, and Instagram says you will be able to stream for up to an hour. Your friends will get a notification when you go live, and you can pin a comment, sort of like a topic, so everyone can read it when they access your live feed. Comments can be disabled for videos.


Live Video will be available in other parts of the Instagram app — in the Explore section, you will be able to watch other popular live feeds from around the world in the “Top Live” category. You can swipe left and right through these, just as you would in Instagram Stories.

Instagram Direct, a messaging platform in the app with 300 million users, will also now be able to send disappearing videos and photos to your friends. You can take a photo or video the same way you launch a live video — swipe right from the feed. Once you capture a photo or create a video, you can choose which friends you want to send to, a group or an individual.

These videos and photos will also appear in a Stories bar on the top of the app in Direct, and once your friends have opened them, they will disappear — just like in Snapchat.

Instagram says Live Video will be rolling out globally in the coming weeks, but you can play around with the new updates to Direct starting on Monday.

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