Livestreaming video is one of the must-add features for social networks this year, just behind a healthy dose of fake news. In its efforts to remain relevant and hip with the youths, Instagram is rolling out the feature to users in the US starting today. iOS and Android users should look for the new features any time in the next couple days.
The one difference between Instagram’s new Live Video feature and the now-ubiquitous Facebook Live is what happens after you’re done. On Facebook, videos are archived and saved for later viewing, becoming part of the social network’s timeline, just like any other post. On Instagram, those Live Videos vanish as soon as they’re finished.
It continues with the same theme that Instagram started earlier this year when it rolled out a Snapchat-like Stories function. It’s a move that makes Instagram look more and more like Snapchat every minute, but it also encourages users to stay on the Instagram app all the time.
There’s a new “Top Live” section in Instagram’s Explore tab, which highlights relevant Live Videos happening right now. But since they’re not saved after they’re done, it implies that you need to be scrolling through Instagram all the time, or you might just miss out on an incredible one-off. At least, that’s what Instagram wants you to think.
Of course, this is the internet, and everything lasts forever. Just like how people have clever ways to take secret screenshots on Snapchat, I’m sure that the supposedly ephemeral Instagram Live Videos will be recorded by somebody somewhere, and I’ll come across them as a series of Vines on Twitter three days later.