Instagram's Disappearing Stories

For anyone who said that they’re tired of going between apps to update their social media, Instagram just rolled out two big updates: The photo-video platform will now support live video and disappearing media, much like competitors’ Twitter and Snapchat.

The live video probably comes at no surprise: Facebook continues to monopolize the live video arena and it seemed to be only a matter of time until Instagram took on this ability as well. A strategic move as Twitter continues to find its footing in the live content space - and brands recognize this. A quick search reveals dozens of articles on how to create a better Facebook Live stream to gain more following. Similar articles referencing Instagram’s Live Video are sure to follow suit.

But the disappearing content is yet another feature swiped right out of the Snapchat playbook: “Send anything you want, from inside jokes to your worst selfies. Unlike other messages in Direct, these photos and videos disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them. And you’ll see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.”

The best add-on, in my personal opinion: You have the ability to send this Snapchat-esque content to groups, instead of just randomly selecting people from “Recents” and “Needs Love” Snapchat contacts.

Direct first rolled out in 2013 — just over a year after Instagram was bought up by Facebook — and it wasn’t until 2015 that Instagram made Direct more like a message platform. Needless to say, it really hasn’t been a priority in upgrades until this year when Instagram rolled out Stories, tagging and linking within Stories and now disappearing and live content.

The new features are set to roll out internationally over the next few weeks. Will you finally give up Snapchat in favor of Instagram’s new features or will you continue to keep your purposefully bad photos separate from your grid?