Instagram is putting the popular ephemeral spin on video streaming and private messaging.
The New Instagram Features for November 2016
Built on the existing “Stories” feature, Live video allows users to broadcast videos to friends and family in real-time. Once they are done, the live story disappears from the app.
The other feature is disappearing photos and videos from groups and friends in Instagram Direct. This feature works pretty much the same way as Snapchat. Users can draw on the disappearing photos and add text. The photos and videos disappear from the recipients’ inboxes after they have seen them.
Instagram’s head of product Kevin Weil said the goal of both live streaming and private disappearing photos were all about broadening the scope of the service. “Instagram should be a platform for all your moments,” he told Variety, arguing that Instagram had over the past few years turned into a highly curated service for people’s best photos, and that these new additions would allow for more intimate and less polished experiences.
But it’s evident that these new updates are sending a clear message: Instagram wants to take on Snapchat. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time it has been “inspired” by its competitor.
Earlier this year, Instagram launched Stories, a feature that makes the app less like the old Instagram and more like Snapchat.
This time, the stakes are higher because Snapchat doesn’t have live video yet, and Instagram is pushing Stories in a big way. The company said over 100 million use Stories every day.
It will be interesting to see how Snapchat responds to this move.