Instagram Combines Snapchat and Periscope for Live Video

November 23, 2016 - 3 minutes read

The best artists steal. The best iPhone app developers adopt the most popular features around them.

Instagram is proving this to be a profitable tactic, as the company has managed to “steal” features like stories and disappearing video from Snapchat without even the whiff of bad feelings from users or other tech companies. Now they’re pulling the same move with Periscope — a welcome change for live video enthusiasts, as growth has been slow in the mainstream for live video products, even after integrations with Twitter and Facebook.

Says Instagram product head Kevin Weil, the goal of the added features is to overcome a common problem users have with the the platform: the “highlight reel” effect. Snapchat quickly caught up with the social media giant thanks to their understanding of the importance of private, less-filtered sharing with real friends (as opposed to vague Insta-aquaintances). Adding those features into Instagram will let some of the in-between users come back to a single platform. As app churn rates are at historic highs, it makes sense that users would want to use one app rather than several.

The move is especially popular with older millennials who felt confused or left out by the move to Snapchat for daily communication. That said, Instagram’s app developers are clearly targeting the younger demographic, with advertising videos for the new features centering around kids who look to be in middle or high school sharing goofy dancing videos in a circle of friends.

Will these younger users be willing to switch back to Instagram — or will it be the “Facebook” of millennial social media? San Fran app developers are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out.

Even the details of the features seem directly lifted from other apps — the “heart” button in live video, for example, mimics the Periscope heart stream, bubbling up from the bottom of the screen. The only major difference is that user’s faces appear in the hearts to differentiate them.

The tech company has also taken concerns about harassment that take place on platforms like Twitter to hear, and placed an enormous amount of audience control on the broadcaster’s end right from the start.

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