Facebook believes that fully immersive live experiences are the future — it’s one of the reasons the company is investing so heavily in virtual reality. We previously wrote about the race between Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram Live is a new feature, much alike Snapchat videos, enabling you to browse a series of live channels to see what they’re broadcasting at any given moment.
About two weeks ago, Instagram proudly announced launching two other features, along with live videos: disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct.
Now Instagram provides you with the possibility to simply swipe right from feed to open the camera, start sharing content for up to an hour. Your friends may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.
When someone you follow starts a live story, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. Viewers can comment, or tap repeatedly to add hearts. Broadcasters can add comments too.
Since none of your friends might be Live at any given moment, Instagram Explore tab Stories section will highlight the best Live streams happening now. Based on view count, geography, and language, Instagram will provide a curated channel you can swipe through, creating the most laid-back live discovery and consumption experience around. Individual events will receive their own channels within people’s Explore tabs, which can feature multiple event channels simultaneously. Each channel can be displayed for up to 48 hours.
For a more convenient experience, streamers can hide comments or all the buttons and they can block or report anyone who harasses them.
The main difference between Snapchat and Instagram Stories is that Instagram is putting an algorithmic twist on its rival’s feature. Aside from showing local Live Stories to people who are in the vicinity, Snapchat Live Stories aren’t actually tailored to each member of its audience. Instagram Stories are, and that makes Instagram Stories a competitive marketing tool.
A SMM expert Tim Paterson predicts that, with such a close comparison between the two companies’ products, the content appears to be what will raise one over the other.
“Unless Snapchat starts customizing which Live Stories it shows to each individual like Instagram is doing, its point of difference will have to be picking out better, if not more, events than Instagram, as well as better clips from those events. And even though Instagram is personalizing its live events channels, it will still need to curate quality feeds to keep people’s interest and steal some attention from Snapchat”, Paterson claims.