Instagram is determined to introduce as many new features as possible in 2016 and that’s why it has launched Live video on Stories, as well as ephemeral posts on direct messages.
Do these sound familiar?
Live videos arrive on Instagram Stories
Live video will be available both on Instagram Stories and Explore and it will help users connect with friends and followers with live broadcasting that disappears after 24 hours.
Snapchat was already using the idea of ephemeral live videos, turning every user into a broadcaster, which offered a valuable opportunity for content curation for all the trending events. Instagram is now hoping to take advantage of its bigger audience (and Facebook’s support) to take ephemeral live videos to the next level.
Any user or brand will be able to go live by just swiping right from the feed to open the camera, clicking on “Start Live video” and sharing content for up to an hour. Just like Facebook, your followers can be notified when you’re live, while you may also allow comments once you’re broadcasting.
Ephemeral posts arrive on direct messages
If you like the idea of ephemeral posts, then now you can use Instagram as an alternative to Snapchat, by sending direct messages to your friends (either one or a group of them).
This is a new way to encourage engagement among users, to the extent that Snapchat became popular simply because people were able to express themselves knowing that their messages will disappear. Thus, it is an attempt to turn Instagram into a complete platform that combines visual appeal, live video and engagement.
The rise of live video in social media
Facebook already acknowledged the power of live videos  and it placed a significant emphasis on its use. This led to more brands embracing the function and we can predict that it will be used even more in 2017.
Facebook may not focus on ephemeral live video, but its combination with Instagram and its latest features shows their plans to become the two platforms that nobody can compete with.
However, it’s not just the two of them experimenting with live videos, as Snapchat still counts great numbers of engagement, while we cannot underestimate Periscope for the coverage of live events.
Even if we can’t tell which one will prevail, we can certainly see the trend growing stronger during the next year.
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