Instagram introduces Live Video, Snapchat-style ephemeral messages
The Instagram logo is displayed within the opened app on an iPhone. Photograph: (Getty)
Instagram has updated its app with two new features - Live Video on Instagram Stories and ephemeral photos and videos in Instagram Direct.
The idea behind Live Video on Instagram Stories is to help users connect with their friends and followers in a better way. According to Instagram, once the live story is over, it disappears from the app, thereby encouraging users to share anything, anytime.
It’s easy to go live from the Instagram app. Just swipe right from feed to open the camera, tap the “Start Live Video” button and start sharing for up to an hour.
Your friends may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.
When someone you follow starts a live story, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. During the broadcast, you can comment and like as much as you want.
You can also check out new live stories on Explore. Tap “Top Live” to see more live stories happening at that moment and swipe right and left to skip around.
Not only you can go live from Instagram, there is now also an option to send Snapchat-style ephemeral photos and videos directly to groups and individual friends. While the direct messaging service in Instagram remain the same, the company has added another visual element to help you connect with friends, more privately.
“Since launching improvements to Instagram Direct last year, the number of people using Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world. In fact, many of them use group threads every day to stay in touch with their closest friends and family,” said Instagram in a blog post.
To send self-destructing photos and videos to Instagram Direct, you just have to swipe right into the camera to take a photo or video and then tap the arrow to send it privately. You can choose a group or create one in just a few taps - and you can also send to individual friends at the same time.
Unlike other messages in Direct, these photos and videos disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them. And you’ll see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.
Whether your account is set to public or private, you can only send disappearing photos and videos to people who follow you.
To open your inbox, tap the new paper airplane icon at the top right corner of your feed or swipe left. You’ll see disappearing photos and videos in a bar at the top. Tap the ones with blue rings to see what your friends sent you. In a group, you can see everyone’s responses - and who else has seen them - in a slideshow format.
Instagram will start rolling out Live video on Instagram Stories and Explore globally over the next few weeks. It, however, has started providing users with an option to send ephemeral photos and videos to Instagram Direct.