Instagram launched its stories feature in August this year. More recently, they’ve added live video and disappearing photos to the mix! These new features combine the best of Periscope and Snapchat and bring them to Insta.
You can find the live video feature in Instagram stories. To use it, swipe right from your feed to open your camera, and tap the “Start Live Video” button. Unlike Periscope or Facebook Live, these live Instagram videos disappear as soon as you stop streaming. Basically, this means your followers will feel more urgency in watching your videos because they know it’s their only chance. This also should encourage you to post more often, because these live feeds aren’t being saved for your followers to watch again later.

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Image via Peta Pixel.

Instagram will choose the followers who you interact with the most and send them notifications to come watch. Insta will also show a Live tag on your Instagram Stories bubble that appears at the top of the feeds of your followers. By not sending notifications to all your followers, Instagram is avoiding the notification overload that Periscope dealt with in the beginning.

While watching a livestream, viewers can comment or tap repeatedly to add hearts. Likewise, broadcasters can add comments too. You can also choose a comment to pin to the top of your post. You can also live stream to your followers for up to an hour!

Instagram’s Explore page will now also link to the best live streams happening now. Insta will choose these based on view count, geography, and language, to provide you with a curated channel you can easily swipe through.

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Image via Tech Crunch.

This update also introduced disappearing photos and videos—much like Snapchat. Instagram has added to their Direct feature, so when you go to share something to Instagram Stories, you can also select groups or individuals that you want to send it to. Your friends can watch the messages once, replay them once, and after that they’re gone forever.