Instagram continues to evolve with ephemeral live broadcasts and a revamped Direct Messages

Instagram live

Instagram has grown from a simple photo sharing application to a full-fledged social network. Users are able to share photos, videos and even ephemeral stories. In its latest evolution, Instagram launches live video broadcasts, a feature parent company Facebook has been making great use of since it launched earlier this year. Rumors had been swirling that Instagram will soon adopt the feature but with its official announcement we learn something new; Instagram Live’s videos will disappear as soon as the broadcast ends. It’s an interesting twist and a deviation from what Facebook is doing.

Swipe to the Stories camera and go to the Live mode to begin broadcasting. A broadcaster can choose to have user comments on or off with broadcasts up to an hour long. When a user goes live on Instagram, only select followers will be notified, unlike how Facebook notifies all followers. The notification are sent to followers who interact with the user’s media the most. Trolls can easily be reported and blocked from ever seeing your broadcasts as well. It’s good to see the product team has taken into consideration the possibility of harassment incurred by Instagram’s more popular user base.

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Instagram will also promote broadcasts from users it thinks you like, just the way it does with photos, videos and stories right now. Along with Live, Instagram is reshaping it’s Direct feature with even more Snapchat style iterations. In the new Direct tab you’ll see a row above your chats just like the Stories row above your feed. Now you can Direct message friends and groups directly from the Stories tab. One differentiator from Snapchat here is that because Instagram saves the groups you send media to, you can easily send to groups instead of manually choosing people every time. You’ll also get notified when someone takes a screenshot.

Since the launch of Instagram Stories, most critics have panned Instagram for being a copycat but they’re slowly finding their niche and using Snapchat for inspiration rather than just creating a clone. Go check your app update and let us know how you’re liking it.