Joining the ranks of Facebook Live and Periscope, Instagram is introducing live video on Instagram Stories, as well as photos and videos you can send to friends in direct messages that disappear. With the new update, Instagram users will be able to swipe right on the app to access the Instagram Stories camera as per usual, where there will be an option for "LIVE" under the same options for "NORMAL" and "BOOMERANG". Once a user goes live with the new function, some followers will be notified, so they can tune in. Your story icon will also say "Live" under it when your friends are scrolling through people's Instagram Stories. You'll be able to see how many people have tuned in by checking the number on the top right of the screen.
In addition to going live on your own Instagram, you can check in on what other people are streaming by checking the Explore page and tapping “Top Live”. There you will be able to see what the most popular live Instagram Stories currently streaming are. Unless the user has chosen to turn off commenting for their Stories, you will be able to comment, and people will be able to comment on yours as well.
Along with today's new update is the ability to send images and videos in direct messages that will disappear after the user has viewed them, similar to Snapchat. Users will be able to launch direct messages with disappearing content both to individual users and within group chats on Instagram. You'll be able to initiate Instagram Direct after you film your content — rather than just a checkmark indicating that you want to add it to your Instagram Story, you'll have a series of options as to whether you want to send it to an individual or to a group. Similar to Snapchat, they disappear after the fact; you will receive a notification if your friends screenshot or replay it.
The update is rolling out globally on the Instagram platform on Nov. 21. If you don't see the update yet, make sure you hit up the App Store on your phone to get the latest app update.