In August, Instagram unveiled “Stories,” a feature extremely similar to Snapchat’s. Even Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom owned up to and credited the competing app for the concept, admitting his app was losing users to those who preferred to share their days on Snapchat instead of “highlights” on Instagram. And now, Instagram is unveiling two new features, and one of them seem to take cues from its parent company, Facebook.
Introducing: live streaming in Stories. But, unlike Facebook Live where broadcasts can permanently live on on the platform, live videos on Instagram will disappear immediately after recording ends. “So you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime,” Instagram wrote in a blog post on Monday.
You will also be able to access trending live stories through Explore, so Instagram can hope to become home to spontaneous viral stars or instant news, which were once exclusive to Facebook Live.
On Monday, Instagram also announced an update to direct messaging. Now, users will be able to send individuals or groups photos and videos that will disappear after they have viewed them. Users will also get a notification if the recipient takes a screenshot or replays the image (similar to Snapchat). However, Instagram will group responses to the messages into one thread, creating a group chat, a concept currently not available in Snapchat.
Instagram says the update is an effort to make sharing “spontaneous,” “pressure-free” and “visual” – seemingly echoing Systrom’s comments from earlier in the year about turning the app into a platform for increased, day-to-day use. Kevin Weil, Instagram’s head of product, also promises to that while the function seems very similar to Snapchat at the moment, it will “differentiate itself over time.”
Earlier this month, Instagram unveiled three new features within Stories, including links and mentions in Stories.
While live video will begin rolling out over “the next few weeks,” the direct messaging feature has already begun rolling out to users as of today.
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