Instagram’s live-streaming feature is set to roll out globally on iOS and Android starting next week. The live video function initially launched just over a month ago on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform as a new way to share your activity in the moment.
Much like you’re currently able to do via Twitter or Facebook Live, Instagram live-streams allow you to broadcast content to your followers in real time. Unlike Facebook Live, however, these video streams won’t be archived for later enjoyment — rather, when you’re done recording, the video goes away instantly. So if ephemerality isn’t your thing, you may not like Instagram’s newest feature.
But if you’re a Snapchat fan, this disappearing act may be more up your alley. Instagram has already made a number of moves this year that have rendered it increasingly similar to Snapchat — earlier this year, for example, it rolled out Stories, which was more or less a clone of one of Snapchat’s most popular offerings.
To use Instagram’s live-streaming function, just go to the Stories camera and select “Live” mode. Your audience will know you’re coming at them in real time thanks to a “live” badge that will appear over your Story icon. And they can interact with your content by leaving comments (unless, of course, you’ve disabled or modified that feature) or tapping the Heart button.
Like Stories, live-streams by people you follow will appear at the top of your feed. There’s also a “Top Live” section in the app’s Explore tab, which alerts you to popular Live Videos — but don’t wait, since these videos supposedly disappear as soon as the creator is finished streaming, you’re either watching live or not at all.
Updated 01/24/2017 by Saqib Shah: Added info of global rollout of Instagram live video
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