Instagram takes on Snapchat with live, ‘disappearing’ video

Competition between Facebook-owned social platform and Snapchat has ramped up

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said live video is a crucial feature for the Facebook “family of apps” going forward. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/File Photo/Reuters

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said live video is a crucial feature for the Facebook “family of apps” going forward. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/File Photo/Reuters

 

Instagram has begun to roll out live video to its users, alongside a “disappearing video” feature similar to that of rival social media app Snapchat.

The Facebook-owned social platform has already looked to squeeze Snapchat’s share of the video market with the launch of Instagram Stories in August, where users can create a collection of images and videos each day.

Now the addition of disappearing video – content that will vanish once opened and viewed, and a signature feature of Snapchat – further increases competition between the two.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has said live video is a crucial feature for the Facebook “family of apps” going forward, and Instagram boss Kevin Systrom told the Financial Times earlier this month that the next step for the app is to let users broadcast live.

‘Feel more comfortable sharing’

“Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now. When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime,” the social app said in blog post.

“It’s easy to go live – just swipe right from feed to open the camera, tap the ‘Start Live Video’ button and start sharing for up to an hour. Your friends may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.”

Instagram also said that disappearing photos and videos, sent using the app’s Direct feature, can be sent to one – or groups – of contacts. A new paper air plane icon is being added to the app as an inbox for this content.

The social media site said an app update for disappearing would start to become available from Monday, and live video will be arriving in the “coming weeks”.

– (PA)