Instagram Launches Live Video & Ephemeral Messages: Here’s What You Need to Know

Instagram Launches Live Video & Ephemeral Messages: Here's What You Need to Know. Instagram's new features directly reflect a larger shift in the user's desire to share content "freely and in the moment," as explained in the official announcement. The key difference between live video on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live is that live Instagram video disappears once the publisher finishes the broadcast, creating the transient experience offered by Snapchat. How to Get Started with Live Content and Disappearing Messages on Instagram How to Go Live on Instagram: 1) Open the Instagram app and navigate to 'Your Story' in the top left corner. Then, tap 'Start Live Video.' You can either select one or several people to send the message to directly or tap 'New Group' in the top right corner to create a group message. To select users to add to a direct message, simply tap the circle next to their name to turn it into a blue check mark. If you're creating a group, tap 'Create' in the corner once you're done adding recipients. 5) To view your direct messages, tap the new airplane icon in the top right corner of your feed or swipe left. The Era of Ephemeral Marketing Is Here As marketers, you already know the importance of catering your social media content distribution to the platform you're publishing on.

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Some of the greatest discoveries of all time came to fruition at the intersection between two ideas. Think about it: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pajama jeans, and sporks … just to name a few.

This week, Instagram proved the power of cross-pollinating ideas once more when it announced the addition of live video on Instagram Stories and disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct.

If those new feature announcements look and feel a whole lot like the experiences you’re used to on Snapchat and Facebook Live, your instincts aren’t wrong. Instagram’s new features directly reflect a larger shift in the user’s desire to share content “freely and in the moment,” as explained in the official announcement. While these features will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks, we wanted to make sure you were equipped with the know-how to start planning your strategy right now. Below, we’ll dive into each of the new features in detail, covering everything you need to know about what to expect, how to get started, and what this means for social media managers and marketers.

What’s Different About Instagram’s New Features?

To answer the question that everyone is asking themselves right off the bat: Yes, the live content update does seem eerily similar to Facebook Live.

But there are actually some noteworthy differences that set Instagram’s live video feature apart. And from a technical standpoint, Instagram’s live content is better represented as a healthy mix between Facebook Live and Snapchat.

The key difference between live video on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live is that live Instagram video disappears once the publisher finishes the broadcast, creating the transient experience offered by Snapchat.

“It’s a bi-directional experience, and you only get that when you’re actually live with someone,” Instagram’s Head of Product Kevin Weil told Recode.

But that’s not the only difference. According to that same Recode article, Instagram has no plans to pay media companies or celebrities to hop on a broadcast. This suggests that live Instragam content is intended to be less about creating important moments that need to be saved, and more about sharing unscripted, real-time experiences with friends and family.

Wired Staff Writer Davey Alba echoed this in her recap of the announcements:

With Instagram Stories, Facebook seems to be trying out a tack it used (to great effect) with messaging, splitting the use cases for Facebook Messenger (a tool for expression, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains it) and WhatsApp (a “more utilitarian” messaging app). Similarly, Facebook Live looks to be a more robust tool for archiving important video, while Instagram Stories is for your friends’ eyes only.”

As for the introduction of disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct, the divergence from Snapchat’s functionality is less obvious. In fact, one of the only major distinctions between the two is that Instagram makes it easier for users to continuously send disappearing messages to a set group of friends, whereas Snapchat requires you to manually select recipients each time.

In other words, the process for sending Instagram’s ephemeral direct messages mirrors a “group text” experience, which is informed by the company’s knowledge of users’ adoption of Instagram Direct over the last year. Since that launch, users have grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world — and many of them are using the messaging feature to share content with group threads, according to the official announcement.

Ready to see these updates in action? Let’s walk through each step.

How to Get Started with Live Content and Disappearing Messages on Instagram

How to Go Live on Instagram:

1) Open the Instagram app and navigate to ‘Your Story’ in the top left corner.

Instagram Live 2.jpeg
Instagram Live 2.jpeg

2) Toggle left at the bottom of the screen to select the ‘Live’ option. Then, tap ‘Start Live Video.’

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Slack for iOS Upload-2.(null).jpeg

Just like on Facebook Live, comments will appear in a feed at the bottom of the screen during your recording. Here’s an example we captured:

Instagram Live comments.jpeg
Instagram Live comments.jpeg

In the live view,…

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