Instagram has become the latest social media company to embrace live video broadcasts.
Following in the footsteps of YouTube, and Facebook, which owns Instagram and Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope, Instagram has released a new feature that enables its users to broadcast live at any time.
To go live, users can swipe right in their feed, which opens to a camera, and tap a “Start Live Video” button. Account owners can live stream for up to one hour.
To make it easy to find live streams, Instagram is adding a new live video section to its “Explore” tab, which curates content around Instagram for users. This live tab makes it easy for users to toggle between different live Stories from a range of accounts by swiping right or left.
Users can also receive notifications when an account is going live, or view the horizontal Stories bar atop their personal feed, curated by Instagram. When users go live, a brightly coloured ring labels their Story as “live” in the tray.
Viewers can comment, or tap repeatedly to add hearts exactly like on Periscope but with their face in some of the hearts. Broadcasters can add comments too, and pin one of theirs or a viewer’s comments to the top of the reel. Streamers can also hide comments or all the buttons, and they can block or report anyone who harasses them.
The difference from the other social media platforms is that once the broadcast has finished, it will disappear.
That means you won’t be able to share a link to your broadcast and viewers won’t be able to watch it after it’s happened.
“Instagram is going from a place to share highlights to a place where you can share all of the moments of your day in a pressure-free space,” Instagram’s head of product Kevin Weil said in an interview, noting that video and photo sharing through both private and public tools on Instagram has risen substantially since debuting Stories. Weil said Stories is attracting users globally across a wide range of ages and demographics.