Instagram today announced two new features that’ll begin rolling out over the course of the next few weeks to all users of their platform. Getting things started, the social media platform first unveiled support for live video from within its recently introduced Stories feature, an addition the company previously confirmed would arrive at some point. By utilizing this feature, the photo and video sharing app joins the ranks of Facebook and Twitter and goes head-to-head with these platforms’ live video solutions known as Facebook Live and Periscope, respectively.
Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now. When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.
To get started, all you do is swipe over to the left of your Instagram feed and select the “Live” option at the bottom of your screen. From there, just start talking. Your followers will get a notification and will be able to access your live stream from either the Stories tab at the top of Instagram or your profile. They can then comment as much as they want as you share whatever you feel you need to go live for. After 24 hours, your live story will disappear, similar to how Periscope used to work.
Top streams will be featured in the Discovery tab of Instagram so you can follow along with celebrities, social media stars, and average people who get a bunch of viewers for some reason.
Live Stories will be rolling out to everyone on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 over the coming weeks.
Regarding the second new feature, Instagram has also begun rolling out disappearing photos and videos for Direct. By swiping to the right of your feed, you can snap a quick photo or video that’ll disappear after 24 hours and send it to another user. That user can either see it once and be done with it, replay it once, or take a screenshot. You’ll be able to see what each individual user does with your content.
In addition, from this interface you’ll also be able to upload straight to your Instagram Story. I don’t think it’s just me when I say Instagram’s interface is becoming more and more like Snapchat’s, but I could be wrong.
It’s likely that more users will see disappearing photos and videos starting today over Live Stories, so keep an eye out for it. You can download/update Instagram for free from the App Store, Play Store, and Windows Store.