Remember when “life streaming” via Justin.tv or Ustream.tv was a thing? That was an idea way ahead of its time, because it mean lugging around a laptop in your backpack with a webcam attached to your head. Since then, live streaming through Meerkat and Periscope became a bigger thing, expanding live video to Twitter and Facebook. And now Instagram live video is rolling out to the image-centric social media platform.

This news hardly comes out of left field, of course. As Engadget points out, Instagram laid out its intentions several weeks ago on its blog. It’s just that Instagram live video is now becoming available to users to share with their followers.

Instagram Live Video Streaming Is Self-Destructive

What’s different with Instagram live video? Not much, to be honest. It’s basically ripping the idea directly from Facebook Live with an interface that looks very similar. You access it through the Instagram Stories interface, swiping over from the regular and Boomerang modes to find the live video option.

Once you start broadcasting, you’ll be able to see how many people are currently watching. Viewers will also be able to leave comments or tap on the “heart” to show their appreciation. Unlike Facebook Live, though, the live video on Instagram does appear to self-destruct after you go off the air. There’s no archiving feature, as far as we can gather. That’s even less than the 24 hours for which your regular Instagram Story remains available for your followers.

Instagram has changed a lot over the years. It expanded to Android, users gained the ability to post non-square pictures, and then video was introduced three years ago. More recently, shoppable tags are popping up. Instagram live video (Live Stories) is a natural progression.


The new feature is rolling out now. I haven’t seen it on my ZTE Axon Pro yet, they say “all US users” should get it in the next few days.

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