The Tech Moves

Instagram Launches Disappearing Live Video and Messages


Instagram Live is the most ephemeral of the major Live streaming platforms now that Meerkat is defunct.

While Periscope started with a 24 hour expiration date, it eventually allowed permanent replays like Facebook Live. Instagram Live videos disappear as soon as the stream stops, which could get people broadcasting more frequently rather than saving the capability just for big flashy events or citizen journalism. Meanwhile, viewers will feel greater urgency to watch immediately because they know it’s their only chance.

Product manager Shilpa Sarkar tells me her company was “interested in people going live to hang out with friends.”, which is becoming popular in Live group video chat app Houseparty. Instagram was spotted testing Live in Russia by T Journal last month, and last week told The Verge it would build a Live product.

To go Live, you’ll swipe from the Instagram Stories camera. Instagram will choose some close friends who’ve shown interest in Live video to hit with notifications to come watch, as well as showing a Live tag on your Instagram Stories bubble that appears at the top of the feeds of your followers. Not alerting everyone who follows you prevents notification overload that plagued Periscope early on.


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