Instagram is once again taking its inspiration from its parent company, Facebook, and rival Snapchat.
The popular photo and video platform has announced two major updates: disappearing photos and videos for Instagram Direct and live video broadcasting for Instagram stories — features that will give users “more ways to share freely and in the moment.”
“Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now,” reads an Instagram blog post. “When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”
To use live video, swipe right from feed to open the camera and then tap the ‘Start Live Video’ button. Your video can run up to an hour in length. Friends may receive a notification when you go live, enabling them to tune in. They will also see ‘Live’ under your profile photo in the stories bar.
Viewers can comment and like as much as they wish, unless you turn comments off. While live, you also have the option of pinning a comment for everyone to see.
Live video on Instagram Stories and Explore will roll out worldwide over the next few weeks.
Instagram’s disappearing photos and videos, which are rolling out now, can be sent directly to groups and individual friends. You can only send disappearing photos and videos to your followers.
“Since launching improvements to Instagram Direct last year, the number of people using Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world. In fact, many of them use group threads every day to stay in touch with their closest friends and family,” reads the Instagram blog post.
“Today’s update keeps regular direct messages the same and adds a more visual way to connect with your closest friends — all in one convenient place.”
To send a disappearing photo or video, swipe right into the camera, then tap the arrow to send your image or clip privately. You can choose to either create a group or send to an existing one. You can send to individual friends at the same time, if you wish. The photos and videos you send will disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have been viewed. You will be able to see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.
Tap the new paper airplane icon at the top right corner of your feed or swipe left to open your inbox. Disappearing photos and videos can be accessed via a bar at the top. Blue rings indicate what your friends have sent you. Everyone’s responses and who has seen the image or video can be seen in groups in a slideshow format.
More information on live video and disappearing photos and videos is available via the Instagram Help Center.