Dec 13, 2016 08:49 AM EST

Instagram Launches Live Video Streaming; US Customers Get First Treat

By Marie O.

Instagram started out as a photo-sharing application, then dipped into the technology of GIFs via "Boomerang." In August, it launched "Stories", snapshots that disappear after 24 hours of posting. On Dec. 12, the social network service launched its latest brainchild: "Live".

As the name suggests, "Instagram Live" delves into live video streaming, allowing users to film and broadcast video clips live. Similar to its "Stories" function, "Live" videos disappear after 24 hours. Instagram's blog post mentions that this feature allows users to "connect with friends and followers right now."

Instagram users in the U.S. can start accessing this new feature starting Monday, Dec. 12. Macworld reports that this function will be made available to other parts of the world in the next few days, though no definite date has been given.

Instagram's blog post further details how to launch "Live": swipe right from the feed to enable the camera and tap the button "Start Live Video." Users can do a live broadcast for as long as one hour. Once they go live, an icon appears in the profile photo that lets followers know when to tune in.

In addition, there is an option to enable notifications so that followers are aware when someone is doing a live broadcast. During the duration of live-streaming, the broadcaster may opt to pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.

This new feature functions similarly like "Facebook Live," which became available at the start of the year. The glaring difference is that Facebook users can save their live videos to their profile, so friends can still access them even after the 24-hour duration has long passed.

When "Stories" launched in Aug. 2016, it raised eyebrows that Instagram is becoming a Snapchat clone, as per an article from Jobs & Hire. With the launch of "Live", it appears that Instagram has now set its new target on Twitter's Periscope as the latest technology that it can replicate and build new features upon.

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