Instagram is combining the best aspects of Snapchat and Periscope to bring to its users a revolutionary spin on video streaming and private messaging, with its latest creation: Instagram Live.
The feature allows users to broadcast real-time videos to either all of a user’s following or individual followers. Live videos are meant to be played while users are streaming, but those sent in direct messages can be played twice before they disappear. Instagram Live will utilize the platform’s Explore page to deliver to users the best and most relevant Live videos.
Instagram’s head of production, Kevin Weil, calls the new feature a “pivot” for the platform. He added, “Instagram should be all of your moments, not just your highlights.”
With this new feature, the company is hoping to move away from the stigma for perfection and artificiality that has recently come to surround “Instagram celebrities.” While using Instagram Live, users can be less concerned about how they look or if they’re doing something cool—they can simply be themselves.
Unlike other live video features, like those on Periscope and Facebook, which allow for unlimited and permanent replays, Instagram Live videos disappear as soon as the user ends the stream. With this restriction, Instagram executives predict users will stream more often, instead of saving their live moments for big, flashy events, and that viewers will feel a greater urgency to watch the video streams.
Rather than sending all of a user’s followers notification when he or she goes live, Instagram will add a Live tag on a user’s story bubble once they start streaming and notify only those followers who have shown an interest in the feature that a live stream is taking place. Live viewers will be able to comment and add hearts to videos, though the broadcaster will be able to hide those features and delete any comments that they are uncomfortable with. Live broadcasters will also be able to comment on their own videos and pin other users’ comments to the top of the comment stream.
While users will be able to select from a specially curated Explore tab for Instagram Live videos, the feature also seeks to unite groups of friends with Live Direct conversations. When lots of friends or followers contribute to the same “camera conversation,” the thread will become a type of collaborative video story.
To allow users to stream Live videos directly to either one follower or a group of followers, Instagram is currently planning to employ a “dual Direct Inbox.” The company has acknowledged that this aspect of the feature is somewhat confusing, and is currently exploring other options.
Instagram Live allows users to completely control the content they stream, who views it, and for how long it is viewable. This will hopefully alleviate some of the worry that comes with posting to social media for students, professionals, and parents. Most importantly, Instagram Live returns to users the freedom to be themselves on social media. For more information regarding Instagram live stream, [Click Here].
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