Instagram introduces Live video and disappearing messages

After Instagram copied Snapchat and then differentiated itself by adding Boomerangs, mentions, and URLs, now the company is at it again.

Starting today, the company is rolling out ephemeral Live video and messages. The first is arguably the most interesting addition, and brings one of Facebook’s big features to the photo sharing app.

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When you’re creating a story, you’ll soon be able to swipe over to a new ‘Live’ button, offering a way for users to hop into a livestream. When someone starts streaming, the app sends a notification to the user’s followers, who can then watch and leave comments. One of the comments can be pinned to the top of the feed, or comments can be completely turned off.

The whole thing looks a lot like Facebook’s Live offering, but stripped from emoji reactions. Also, a recorded video won’t automatically be posted to the user’s profile after broadcasting. The feature is rolling out globally over the coming weeks.

Rolling out today is something else — disappearing messages. When you press the new messaging icon in the top right corner of the app’s home screen, you’ll be able to privately send a photo or video to people that are following you.

It’s not hard to see this is a literal page out of Snapchat’s book, which was a pioneer of ephemeral messaging when the app launched in 2011.

And so the battle between Snapchat and Instagram Stories continues — the rate at which Instagram has been adding new features is pretty incredible, and has been completely turning Stories into its own product. But then again, they don’t have fancy connected sunglasses.

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