Update, Dec. 12, 2016: Live video is now available to users in the U.S., with more countries to be added later, Mashable reports.
Original story, published Nov. 22, 2016, follows.
After wildly profitable but often controversial debuts on Facebook and Twitter, live video is coming to Instagram.
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is adding the ability to broadcast live video streams as part of its Stories feature. Unlike live video posted to Facebook, though, it will disappear forever once you’re done streaming, which Instagram says is designed to make you “feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”
The now-defunct Meerkat live-streaming app had a similar setup; live broadcasts initially disappeared when they were done.
The update will roll out to Instagram’s 500 million users over the next several weeks. To see if it has reached your app yet, swipe to the right from your feed to open the camera and look for the “Start Live Video” button. Tapping it will let you broadcast live for up to an hour to your followers, who might get a notification so they can tune in.
Meanwhile, if one of your followers starts live streaming, their profile in the Stories bar at the top of the app will gain a pink “live” icon to alert you to tune in.
Stories itself closely resembles a feature first introduced by Instagram’s rival, Snapchat. In addition to live video’s debut, Instagram today is further encroaching on Snapchat’s turf with a new disappearing photos and video option for direct messages.
You can send a disappearing photo or video either as a group or individual message, and as with Snapchat, once the recipient views the photo or video, it will soon disappear from their inbox. They can replay it or take a screenshot, though. Instagram’s help section notes that you’ll be able to tell if they’ve done so.
The disappearing photos and videos option starts rolling out today, although Instagram didn’t offer a timeframe for when it would reach all users.