Instagram has announced two features that show they’ve got their finger directly on the pulse. Today’s launch embodies the best features of Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook’s native experience with live video on Instagram stories and disappearing photos and videos.
Instagram Live will do exactly what a user would suspect: give watchers the ability to access live broadcasts. The Live feature only gives watchers insight while you’re broadcasting, removing access from the app when you’ve finished broadcasting.
To go Live, tap on the camera, then “Start Live Video.” Videos can be live for up to one hour — and are notated as “Live” under their profile video in the stories bar — and followers will be notified. Watchers have the ability to allow comments or turn them off altogether.
The second feature announced today involves Instagram Direct, where photos and videos can be sent that disappear after they’ve been accessed by the users the broadcaster chooses to view them. This “ephemeral” feature is intended to meet the needs of more than 300 million users who are utilizing Instagram Direct.
Those sharing ephemeral media will be able to see if the videos have been played or if the photos have been viewed, and they’ll also be able to tell if someone has taken a screen shot.
Access to Instagram Direct can be had by tapping on the paper airplane box. Disappearing photos or videos will appear in a bar at the top of the screen. Photos and videos can also be sent to a group of your choosing, but you can only send to people who follow you.
Instagram Live will be rolling out over the next few weeks, but Instagram Direct’s disappearing videos will begin rolling out today.