Instagram Announces New Ways to Share and Revamps Comments



Instagram is making several updates to its app, from live video and disappearing content to comment “Likes” and keeping its community safe and healthy.

Instagram is adding more features and functionality to its app, and specifically with Instagram Stories. The first update includes:

“Live video on Instagram Stories and disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct”


Live video in Instagram arrives just seven months after Facebook announced its own live video features, which Mark Zuckerberg dubbed the “TV camera in your pocket.”

Instagram Live seems very similar to Facebook Live, where your followers will be alerted once you go live. But, unlike Facebook which can stream live video for any amount of time, Instagram Live can only last up to one hour.

This update hasn’t arrived for all users quite yet, but it’s slowly rolling out. Users will start to notice it in the Explore tab, which will feature curated live video streams.

When you’re watching a live video, you can add likes and comments. The person going live can pin their favorite comments to the top of the stream, which will be a unique way for influencers and brands to engage their fans. Also, likes will appear as floating hearts throughout the stream, just like Periscope’s like feature.


Disappearing Photos and Videos in Instagram Direct

The other update rolling out takes a page from Snapchat’s playbook: disappearing photos and videos. These will live within Instagram Direct, the messaging feature within Instagram. This is for conversations between just two people and for group chats.

As soon as your friend or group views the content, it will instantly delete itself. Also similar to Snapchat, you’ll be able to see if your friend took a screenshot of your message, or if they replayed it. You’ve been warned.

Instagram is certainly trying to take all of our favorite features from other social platforms, and integrate them into their app. Instagram Stories is highly successful already, so it will be interesting to see if users will want to go live to create even more raw and authentic content experiences.

According to Instagram, “the number of people using Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world.”

For brands, the implications of Instagram Live versus Facebook Live are yet to be seen. Facebook Live offers many more features and API integrations, allowing you to “go live” but make it look like a full television production. Either way, it’s worth experimenting between your pages with live video content, especially since Facebook and Instagram seem to prioritize live video in our feeds, which will typically get your content in front of more users’ screens.


Updates to Comments

Instagram is committed to keeping the community and app a positive place for self-expression. With most social platforms, this vision deteriorates in the comments of photo, videos, and other forms of content.

To help fight this, Instagram is updating comments to give users more control. Instagram’s Co-Founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom, wrote about the changes coming to Instagram:

“Sometimes there may be moments when you want to let your post stand on its own. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts. In a few weeks, it will be available for everyone. Tap “Advanced Settings” before you post and then select “Turn Off Commenting.” You can also tap the “…” menu any time after posting to turn commenting back on.”

Ability to “Like” Comments
In addition to this, users will be able to “Like” comments too. There will be a heart icon next to each comment, and liking that allows you to show support or encourage positivity, according to Systrom.

Ability to Remove Followers from Private Accounts
For private accounts, once you accepted someone as a follower,the only way to undo that action was to block them completely. Instagram is hoping to solve this problem by allowing private users to “remove” followers, which does not notify the user. Essentially, it’s not as harsh as blocking, but still gets the job done.

Anonymous Reporting for Self-Injury Posts
Lastly, to continue to support the community, Instagram will allow users to anonymously report any friends or accounts that might be in danger, might be thinking about injuring themselves, or causes any other concern for taking action to help. Instagram will connect your friend to organizations that offer help thanks to a team working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the world.

You can read more about Instagram’s updates to comments, safety, and community here.

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