Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe, but tell that to Wall Street preparing for a Snapchat IPO. It’s the battle of the apps as Instagram doesn’t even hide the fact it’s copying the best features of Snapchat and Periscope and integrating them in its Facebook-owned app.

Hey, if Zuckerberg can’t buy you, he’ll damn sure try to suffocate you out of the market. Two new features are rolling out to Instagram stories on iOS and Android. Techcrunch asked Instagram’s head of product, Kevin Wei, about the new features:

“We pivoted. Instagram should be all of your moments, not just your highlights.” That’s not a pivot; it’s orders from the top you should cram the popular features from other apps into Instagram. Better monetization. Better quarterly results for Facebook. But hey, pivot sounds better than ads. Can’t fault him for the spin.

Instagram Live Update

Live streaming is omnipresent in our society now. It started with Meerkat, which is now defunct. Then it was Periscope and Facebook Live. Instagram Live is designed to allow a user to live stream to their followers. Once you go ‘live,’ Instagram selects followers who have shown interest in Live video and push notify them on the stream.

In its current form, the update will not allow for replays, but let’s be real. That’s happening. Periscope had the same feature of disappearing videos and no replays. It eventually changed it up to allow them. Expect that feature to enter Instagram at some point.

Once streaming, followers can add comments or tap to add hearts. The streamer can opt to pin the top comments or not display anything. Tools have already been put into to place to block or report users who harass them.

Not seeing any friends Live? It’s called having a job, but Instagram’s Explore tab curates the top Live feeds for you to explore.

Instagram Direct

300 million monthly users strong, the new update will bring disappearing messages to the direct messaging platform. Users can select which friends you want to send a message to and have the benefit of it disappearing. Recipients can replay the message, and if the group starts replying with their own, it forms a story slideshow to tap through.

Instagram One Ups Snapchat With Privacy

Both updates introduce the ability of the Live and Direct user to control their audience. You’ll know who is watching your live stream once they join. Messages are controlled by the user selecting who sees them. While it allows for unguarded moments, it also ratchets up the privacy control. How many Instagram users are nothing but trolls tapping around to cause strife?

The updates end that immediately on the Live arena. If you don’t want a certain user viewing a stream, the tools are there to block them. You control the message and the content. Don’t want your parents knowing your Vegas plans? Done. Concerned about certain followers knowing your every move? Block and they are history.

Instagram may catch flack for copying various apps and poking fun at the company is entertaining. But the privacy tools introduced should be a template for other companies to imitate. Flattery is a two-way street.



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