As new features are added to Instagram, it is becoming very clear that it’s becoming a mix of Facebook and Snapchat. Two very familiar features will be available to all users soon: LIVE videos, and Snapchat-inspired “disappearing messages.”
As we reported just a few days ago, live video was confirmed to be in the pipeline, but we didn’t believe it would arrive so soon! It comes with a twist though: once the live broadcast is over, the video disappears forever – unlike videos on Periscope or Facebook. Broadcasters can choose to send a nudge to their friends once they go live, and also have the option to turn comments on or off.
Naturally, Facebook-owned Instagram will be making it easy to start a live broadcast – a simple swipe to the right and a tap on the “Start Live Video,” and users will be “on air.” Here’s what it will look like in practice:
Instagram is set to continue to “breathe down Snapchat‘s neck” (and try to steal its users) by adding disappearing photos, and videos as well. While you could expect a twist here as well, there is no twist: Instagram’s disappearing photos and videos are exact duplicates of the features that made Snapchat so popular.
Users will receive a notification once they receive a private message, and it will disappear once they’ve opened it. If the recipient takes a screenshot or replays the content, the sender will be notified.
In the official blog post announcing the changes, Instagram claims that,
since launching improvements to Instagram Direct last year, the number of people using Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world.
This means, that there are still 200 million users who do not use Direct regularly – will disappearing messages lure them in?
Over time, Snapchat has witnessed Facebook introducing the same features that made its platform different, and therefore worthwhile. Now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear USP for Snapchat – let’s see how Evan Spiegel and his folks will react.