As Facebook's representatives stated on numerous occasions, video content is the future of the Internet. Due to users' growing inclination towards posting and sharing videos on social networks, Facebook often opted to introduce features somewhat inspired by its video-oriented rival Snapchat. Earlier this year, the Facebook-owned Instagram debuted Instagram Stories, a feature which allows you to share collections of photos and videos which permanently disappear after 24 hours. The idea was to let users share interesting details about their everyday lives with their Instagram friends without worrying about over-posting and cluttering their online profiles. Today, Instagram announced another step in a similar direction, revealing that the next few updates to the company's popular social media app will add live broadcasts and ephemeral photos into the mix.
Live video broadcasts will be introduced as an option within Instagram Stories, which means that they will also be prone to disappearing just like every other Story. Once Instagram officially debuts this feature, starting a live broadcast will be as simple as swiping right on your main feed and tapping the "Start Live Video" button located on the bottom of the camera user interface. This functionality will support broadcasts lasting for up to an hour, and the social media giant's press release states that some of your friends may get notifications when you start broadcasting. Broadcasters will also have the option of pinning a comment on their stream or turning off user comments. New Live Stories will be featured on the app's Explore screen which will soon be updated with a "Top Live" tab. All broadcasts will disappear the moment their author stops streaming. This feature will begin rolling out in a few weeks and should be available globally by the end of the year.
Regarding some more immediate improvements to the popular app, the social media company announced that it has just started rolling out ephemeral photos and videos which users can send to groups and individual Instagram friends. This feature will launch within Instagram Direct which currently boasts around 300 million users worldwide. Naturally, disappearing photos and videos won't change the core functionality of Instagram Direct but will instead just offer you with an additional option of sharing private content with your close friends. To take advantage of this new feature, swipe right on your Instagram feed and tap on the arrow icon in the bottom-right corner of the camera user interface to designate individual recipients or groups of recipients. The only difference between ephemeral photos and videos and Instagram Direct messages is that the former will disappear from other people's inboxes the moment they've seen them and the app will notify you if your recipients replayed your content or took a screenshot of it. However, note that you'll only be able to send this type of temporary content to your followers.