Live video seems to be one of the hottest things in social media these days. There’s Twitter’s Periscope. There’s Facebook Live. There’s Hype, which was recently launched by the creators of the erstwhile social-media darling Vine. And now, here comes Instagram.
Today, the popular Facebook-owned photo and video sharing service is rolling out its own take on live video, in addition to launching disappearing direct messages.
How does live video work?
If you want to start a live video on Instagram, all you have to do is swipe right from the feed to open the camera and tap the “Start Live Video” button. You’ll then be able to broadcast your live video to your friends and followers for up to an hour.
When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.- Instagram
While other services that offer live video streaming make recordings of broadcasts available for later viewing, Instagram dares to be different. Taking another page from the Snapchat playbook, Instagram has opted to make live videos disappear once they’re finished.
Live video is an extension of Instagram stories. When someone you follow is currently doing a live video, or live story as it were, his or her profile photo will have a “Live” indicator in the stories bar. You can also check out live stories from people you’re not following in the Explore section, which also features a Top Live button that you can tap to watch and skip through more live stories.
As for comments, they can be turned on or off for each live story. And viewers can also give “likes,” which show up as a flutter of hearts, reminiscent of the parade of on-screen reactions on Facebook Live.
How do disappearing direct messages work?
Live video isn’t the only disappearing thing that Instagram is launching on its platform today. There are also disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct, the app’s private messaging feature. Can you say Snapchat (again)?
To privately send a disappearing photo or video, swipe right from the feed to open the camera, take a photo or video, and then tap the arrow. You can send it to your friends individually or to a group. In any case, it will disappear from the recipients’ inboxes after they’ve seen it. And should you be interested or concerned, you’ll see if any of them replayed it or took a screenshot of it.
Note that you can send disappearing photos and videos only to users who follow you, whether your account is set to public or private. Oh, and regular direct messages work the same as before, i.e., they remain non-disappearing.
How do I get these new features?
According to Instagram, live video will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks, and disappearing direct messages will be rolling out globally today.
To make sure that you get these new features when they arrive for you, download the latest version of Instagram.
Get Instagram from the App Store for free
Get the other mentioned apps