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And the app is adding more Snapchat-esque features with the new disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct. These update should start appearing in the next few weeks.

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We saw rumors of Instagram adding live video features to its Stories back in October, and just a few days ago the company CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed those rumors, saying that Instagram would follow the footsteps of its parent company Facebook by focusing on video-centric user experience.

Well, that day has come: today, the social network giant unveiled two major updates. The first is live video on Instagram Stories. Simply swipe right from your feed to open your device’s camera and click “Start Live Video.” Like Facebook, your friends might get a notification that you are live, and once you’re done, your live story will disappear from the app. When someone is live, you will see a “Live” sign under their profile, and again, the interaction is very similar to the one on Facebook – you can comment and like as much as you want during the live broadcast.

The second update is what the company calls “disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends” in Instagram Direct. Essentially, it’s Snapchat built right into Instagram. We saw the launch of Instagram Direct last year – which allows users to message one another privately – and since then, the company says the number of users each month grew from 80 million to 300 million.

Disappearing photos and videos will allow these users to capture a moment by taking a photo or a video and share it with anyone privately, and as you might have guessed, they disappear once they are viewed by the recipient. Simply swipe right into the camera and tap the arrow to send once you’re done. If you’ve ever used Snapchat, everything should look extremely familiar: you can save your photo or video and edit it by adding a text or drawing. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s Snapchat or Instagram just by looking at the UI.

Disappearing photos and videos will allow these users to capture a moment by taking a photo or a video and share it with anyone privately, and as you might have guessed, they disappear once they are viewed by the recipient.

It seems like companies will continue to aspire to be more like Snapchat in the future: Facebook is probably the most blatant case, ranging from Messenger and WhatsApp to its very own Snapchat clone Lifestage. But hey, you know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Facebook is probably the most blatant case, ranging from Messenger and WhatsApp to its very own Snapchat clone Lifestage. But hey, you know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Will you be using Instagram’s new features? Let us know once you get these updates!

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