Instagram Goes Live!

Instagram, welcome to the live video streaming competition! Recently, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed that Instagram will be moving towards the live video feature. This seems like something Instagram will do well with and certainly pull off. They can easily connect with broadcasters and followers will feel much closer to each other as well. Rumors have it that Instagram will feature a “Go Insta” button which will allow users to go live and view streams. They can also view scheduled live broadcasts. The Live Stories will be the left of the most recent stories at the top of the news feed.

These all seem like promising features to contribute to Instagram’s growth. Their stories have been a huge success and have proven to be great competition for Snapchat. Live stories would certainly make Snapchat much more popular in my opinion. But the user interface on Snapchat still seems easier and quicker to use. With Facebook’s backing, Instagram is soon to take over Snapchat in these aspects as well. With the financial support and number of users Instagram can surely defeat Snapchat in this battler (Maybe even do to them what they did to Vine).

I’m excited for this upcoming addition to Instagram. Recently, after the election, BuzzFeed had a live stream on Twitter of the protests in New York. Twitter also has live streams of Thursday Night Football and has certainly made strides in the live streaming industry. I believe Instagram can also enjoy in the success. Instagram user platforms allows them to profit off of major changes. Since Instagram launched their stories, they are already averaging about 100 million daily views in two months. With such leverage I can see major news media outlets enjoying the fact that Instagram has added this feature. Especially for well-known figures and famous people the ability to “Go Live!” will strengthen their brand and help with marketing strategies.


I’m excited to be able to go on my Instagram feed and be able to open up CNN, ESPN, or CNBC to watch the news or a game. As a result, Facebook will have a strangle hold on social media platforms (as if they haven’t already). They have turned social media into a spectacle where we spend more and more of our time. I believe if Instagram can improve their user interface on a web browser then live streaming will be very successful. For streaming content, it would be easier on a computer and so if Instagram can improve their web browser then they can profit well off of this new feature.

I’m concerned more so for Snapchat and its future business developments. Since they lack the capital support that Instagram has, I personally can foresee the slow demise of Snapchat. I love using Snapchat, but Instagram adding live streaming is a major component that puts them ahead of Snapchat. The small features that Snapchat has, like the cool geotags and streaks are only minor advantages that Instagram can easily outperform without.

Instagram’s instant video messaging and stories are already very popular two months in and are clearly affecting Snapchat’s growth. What makes me like Snapchat? The speed. The quick message and picture sending to my friends is very appealing to me. However, Instagram’s growth in instant photo messaging has me questioning my commitment to Snapchat. So where does Snapchat go from here? I think they might have to make major additions to their “Explore” feature so they don’t fall  behind the rest of the social media powerhouses. Instagram has really pushed Snapchat backwards and will clearly keep progressing as they make additional changes frequently.

From what I have heard is that Instagram should release this live feature by the end of the year. The most exciting aspect of this is the fact that Instagram’s live streaming feature will be geared towards individual users. It will be personalized so users can view events that they might like. Again, this is because Facebook will support Instagram with an algorithm that will help in selecting content for specific users. I think this will be great for users as they will feel more connected to the app since once they open the app, users’ favorite live events will be available.

Along with the new zooming in, Boomerang, and live streaming features, Instagram has certainly made major changes in the last couple of months. They have developed into a platform that is much greater than social media. With Facebook’s support, Instagram has a very high ceiling and will continue to surprise us users with unique features. The next 12 months will be pivotal for their growth, as they continue to battle with Snapchat. However, so far, Instagram is giving Snapchat more than it can handle. These have been a great couple of moves by Instagram to increase their revenues and please their users.



  1. finkbecca · ·

    I think Instagram can definitely give Snapchat a run for its money, but I don’t think it will “win the battle.” I think Snapchat has enough network effects in place to stick around and that Instagram won’t be able to capture that market fully. I do think Snapchat will need to work on the live stream too. I didn’t know this was something Instagram was doing. It makes sense, if Facebook has the ability to do it then they should be able to easily share with Instagram. I run the marketing department at Campus Recreation at BC, so using Instagram’s live feed to promote upcoming events definitely interests me. Great post!

  2. Your comment that, “Facebook will have a strangle hold on social media platforms (as if they haven’t already),” leads to the question: What does all this look like in a few years?

    Homemade videos are one category, which YouTube currently dominates.
    Professional video content is the category that is potentially the most lucrative.
    Traditional network TV content is going toward more online streaming. Will these SM platforms carry MOST network TV content, cable channel content?The SM platforms are trying to provide more of the traditional network TV content, eg., sports games. It seems like the channels are converging.

  3. jagpalsingh03 · ·

    Great post Rohan! I wrote about something similar last week (Why FB is looking to become Snapchat) and it’s interesting to see how FB is competing against Snapchat on the Instagram side. One obstacle that Instagram needs to get over is that people post on the app at most once day while people are constantly using Snapchat during any given hour. Like @finkbeccca said, Snapchat has enough network effects in place that I think it’s going to be an uphill battle to get the public to fundamentally change how they approach Instagram; however, in the long run it’ll be worth it. FB/IG know that they need more creators and less consumers, and adding additional features to keep people on the Instagram app longer seems like a solid strategy. While I can’t ever imagine myself using Instagram to watch a football game, you never know.

  4. polmankevin · ·

    Live video is taking over the social media world! Great post, I think this is a really cool new feature for Instagram. Although I haven’t actually posted an Instagram story yet I have enjoyed the story feature. I think Instagram live will be a similar space, a place where people won’t post religiously (unlike snapchat) but where they can discover engaging content. There is certainly a video market looking for a forum after the death of vine. Instagram could capitalize on that, they already have a platform of social media influencers who pride themselves on their number of followers and product promotion deals. I am afraid, however, that this feature might be abused by these promotion personalities. But I guess that just depends on who you follow. Nonetheless, this is extremely exciting news as snapchat gears up for a seemingly overpriced IPO.

  5. sandytanny · ·

    Great post! I wasn’t even aware that Instagram was introducing a live video feature! All of these platforms keep rolling out new features and updates to compete with each other that it’s starting to be difficult to keep up with. I think the feature will be a welcome addition to the platform. Instagram is clearly positioning itself to compete with Snapchat so it will definitely be interesting to see how Snapchat responds. For myself, I turn to Snapchat to send my friends funny photos and watch their stories — a very defined group of people. However, on Instagram I follow much more people even outside of my own friend groups such as brands, influencers, celebrities, photographers, food accounts, travel accounts, etc. I think live videos will definitely be able to capitalize on this fact!

  6. mikeknoll98 · ·

    Why has not this been all over the tech and social media news! Thank you for bringing to light this new live feature for Instagram. I am not sure I will ever use Instagram as a Snapchat replacement, and I still am yet to get into the whole Instagram story thing. I see lots of celebrities using the Instagram story but I think Snapchat stories are here to stay, for the time being. Overall great post and thanks for enlightening us all!

  7. Clearly a move to try to combat Snapchat. It will probably work pretty well.

%d bloggers like this: