Instagram launches live video, disappearing messages

In a market swarming with new live streaming apps, Instagram is adding their name to the list. But that’s not all: they’re also going straight for Snapchat’s jugular, by introducing disappearing messages.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live will complement Instagram Stories, appearing in the same top bar that Stories do. Live videos will not be available on-demand afterwards, like those from Periscope and Facebook Live are, creating a greater sense of urgency for the viewer.

Going live is easy – swipe right to access the Stories camera, then swipe right again for the Live interface. You’ll be highlighted in the Stories bar with a “LIVE” emblem, and tailored push notifications will be sent out to friends and followers most likely to view.

Instagram Live, slowly rolling out to select batches of users

Viewers will be able to engage by commenting and sending on-screen hearts (like Facebook and Periscope). In addition, broadcasters can choose to pin a comment to the top of the feed, or hide comments altogether. Live comments will also include blocking and reporting features to combat harassment, an issue that Instagram is no stranger to.

Live video isn’t currently available to all users, but will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks.

Instagram Direct’s Disappearing Media

Prior to this update, Instagram Direct functioned a lot like the native messaging solutions of apps like Twitter. You could send text, photos, videos, and (most popularly) share content directly with your friends.

Starting today, users can take photos or videos with the Instagram Stories camera, edit them like an Instagram Stories post, but then choose to send them privately to individual friends or a whole group (one-upping Snapchat).

The flow for sending a disappearing Instagram Direct photo to a group

Disappearing text can’t be sent without an accompanying photo, but users could always just put their finger over the camera. Recipients are allowed one view and one replay before they’re gone forever. The sender gets a notification on both replays and screenshots.

Disappearing messages don’t appear in-line with existing direct messages, but rather appear in a secondary stream.