Yesterday, Instagram announced its addition of two new video and messaging features. The first is a live recording feature, which is integrated into the Instagram Stories part of the app that came out back in August. The second is one Snapchat users will be very familiar with—it allows users to send photos and short videos through Instagram’s direct message feature.
Direct messaging works pretty similarly to Snapchat, just via Instagram’s format. What’s cool about this new update is that you can send photos to pre-set groups, instead of having to click each person individually. Instagram basically did Snapchat backwards (first stories, then individual messages).
While the live video feature isn’t quite user-ready (if you go to update the app on your phone, it says “coming soon!”), the direct messaging feature is. According to the announcement, the live recording feature “will roll out globally over the next few weeks.”
The live video feature is different from Instagram Stories in that it only exists while you’re recording. It's more like Facebook Live—but unlike Facebook's iteration, the video completely disappears once you're done recording. Viewers can also like and comment on the live video, but it doesn’t look like you can add text or draw on the recording yet.
In an interview with Buzzfeed in early October, Instagram's co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom emphasized that these updates are in an effort to keep the app innovative and in line with its mission. "Instagram's mission is to make sure that everyone can capture and share the world's moments and use them to form stronger relationships with one another," Systrom said.
So, the question we’re all asking is...what does this mean for Snapchat? Will the endlessly exciting filters and curated stories keep us loyal to the OG picture messaging system? Will it become obsolete with Instagram’s aesthetically-pleasing setup? It's too soon to know, but it looks like Instagram is trying hard to compete with other social networks' best features.