Moving even further from being just the app for nice photographs, Instagram has now introduced live videos and disappearing posts in direct messages. If the latter sounds a bit like Snapchat, yet again, then yes you are absolutely right. After introducing stories, which we think was a very interesting addition for brands, Instagram made tweaks to make it a better fit in brand’s marketing plans. The option to tag other accounts in stories and the ability to add links is something brands would like to drive users to their website.
In the latest round of updates to the Stories, Instagram introduced live videos, a feature not available on the original inspiration of Stories. Parent company Facebook has also been playing big on Live but the recent addition on Instagram is different as the live videos aren’t available afterwards. It only shows you what is happening live right now and to give these live videos better visibility, Instagram is rolling out an algorithmically curated Explore page with better results for live videos. This is somewhat similar to Meerkat (remember?) which made replays unavailable.
While brands would use live videos on Instagram to connect with their audience, the real objective for Instagram is to get more users to share content on the platform. Stories, and now stories with live videos that won’t stick around, they are giving room for relatively low quality media without the associated social validation for an average user. Over 100 million people are using Instagram Stories everyday which is already close to 70 percent of what Snapchat is doing. Travellers are using it to share their in-the-moment adventure and brands are using it to take their fans behind the scene and have a different, more natural character.
The new Instagram features are rolling out to beta testers and some users. It will be interesting to see if this works in Instagram’s favour, driving up the usage, or alienate some users by overwhelming with features.