Instagram Live – Do we really need it?
Before talking about if we need Instagram Live, let’s take a look at the history behind it and find out exactly what it is…
First it was Snapchat, a social networking site that most millennials embraced a couple of years back. Today, Snapchat has more than 200 million active users. Snapchat, for those of you not familiar, is a social site that creates stories with a series of videos and/or still photographs. The stories last for 24 hours and then, they disappear.
On Snapchat, you can also send direct messages in the form of photos or videos to anyone in your community. Once the viewer sees the Snap, it disappears. The point of the disappearance — it is immediate. That’s the appeal.
Facebook sees the success of Snapchat and wants to get in on the action. They develop Facebook Live. Between random people using it to show their personal experiences to corporations using it for product launches and virtual press conferences, it gained immediate popularity. The difference between Snapchat and Facebook Live, Facebook Live is forever. The live stream can be watched at any time.
A few weeks ago, Facebook launched Instagram Live to directly compete with Snapchat, since they both have similar audiences. Instagram Live, like Snapchat, offers its community a live streaming feature that disappears once the stream ends.
They did this for immediacy. This way, people are sure to watch the video while it is happening live. Interestingly, you can browse an algorithmically curated Explore page of the best Instagram Live videos happening now. Viewers can comment in real time as well, but if a viewer harasses the streamer, he/she can be reported back to Instagram. The product is very similar to Persicope but has a lot more of an audience with the potential of 500 million users.
The other new Instagram product is Instagram Stories. This too is a direct competitor to Snapchat, where you can view a select group of images creating a story, with your own spin on it adding emojis and various icons.
The other way that Instagram has been competing with Snapchat is Instagram Direct. Now you can send a video or photo to anyone who is in your network. You can watch it twice (different than Snapchat, whereas Snapchat is only once) and then it disappears.
So, do we really need Instagram Live?
I guess a better question to ask is how many of these livestreaming apps do we really need? In my opinion, if one works for you, stick with it. I was using Persicope for a while and really enjoying it. I know others who have used Persicope and started using Facebook Live or Instagram Live. The thing here to remember, if you’re going to go live, it should be of importance to other people, not just to you. If you use the service all the time with nonsense that people find annoying, no one will watch when you have something important to share.