Instagram has taken on its biggest competitor, Snapchat, by introducing two new features: live videos on Instagram Stories, and private photos and videos in Instagram Direct that get erased after being viewed.
These new features have been introduced following a move by Facebook Inc., Instagram’s parent company, to push live video more. Instagram Stories, which was introduced earlier in August, was meant to encourage people to share more moments of their day and increased its audience to 100 million daily active users within a short span of time.
Stories already offered the option of having photos and videos that wouldn’t appear on your profile and would disappear after 24 hours. Live video takes this one step further with videos that get erased from the app as soon as you’re finished streaming. During a broadcast, your friends and followers may get a notification so they can tune in. They are also able to comment, doodle or like during the live streaming.
Other competitors of Instagram such as YouTube and Periscope also stream live video, however, their videos can be saved and don’t offer this ephemeral element.
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The new and improved version of Instagram Direct now offers vanishing photos and videos along with their standard non-disappearing private message feature. The photos and videos disappear as soon as they have been viewed. Another added advantage is that you immediately receive a notification if someone took a screenshot or replayed them.
Instagram seems to be rivaling the wildly popular Snapchat to take over their market leadership. It remains to be seen whether this bid will turn out to be successful or not. Both these features will be rolled out gradually over the next few months.