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Instagram launches live video, adds new messaging features

by Brandon Russell | November 21, 2016November 21, 2016 1:30 pm PDT

Don’t just post videos to your Instagram feed. With a new update introduced on Monday, the photo-sharing is allowing users to start their own live video broadcast, similar to what’s available via Facebook, Periscope and other services. But there’s a twist.

Rather than keeping your live video stored to watch later, everything you broadcast disappears forever. Instagram says the decision behind disappearing live video was so users feel more comfortable about sharing content.

Going live is as easy as posting a photo. Just tap on the camera icon, swipe right and hit “Start Live Video.” Instagram says you can broadcast for up to an hour at a time, although it’s unclear what happens when you reach that limit.

Once you’re live, friends can interact by commenting and sending you little hearts, similar to Facebook. Broadcasters, meanwhile, can pin comments or simply turn them off altogether. When someone is live, you’ll see a little “Live” badge at the top of your feed where Stories appear.

That’s not all in this update

In addition to live video, Instagram is also introducing disappearing photos and videos in direct and group messages. Now, Instagram is more like Snapchat than ever before.

Instagram has grown from a humble photo-sharing app to a social powerhouse. This year alone, the service has introduced a Snapchat-like story feature, along with integrating Boomerang into the main app.

Live video should be available to all users around the globe in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct should be available beginning today.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...