If you haven't taken a look at your Instagram stories yet today, then you're in for a real treat.
Instagram has started rolling out its Live Video feature for all U.S. users--so if you don't have access yet, check back over the next 48-72 hours.
Instagram Live Video is a bit different than the Live function found within Facebook, where videos are broadcasted and then saved for re-watching later. With Instagram Live, your content will only be available while you're actually Live, and will not be saved or shared to your Instagram page for re-watching.
This is a unique twist that will surely make users more engaged, forcing them to either stay for the broadcast or leave--since the content won't be available again later. (It's safe to say the mobile apocalypse has begun.)
But the most interesting thing about Instagram Live is what it means in relation to its strongest competitor, Snapchat. The two apps have been going head-to-head for quite some time now, mimicking each other's features and trying to keep users within one platform over the other.
However, Instagram Live is another huge leap forward for Instagram, and makes a digital marketer like myself seriously question Snapchat's current value to the marketplace and intended next steps.
Instagram, as it stands, feels like a much more fluid and "bite-sized" version of its behemoth parent platform, Facebook. Snapchat, on the otherhand, feels like it is an "indie" platform that doesn't want to play with its competitors out in the open. Originally, this was its appeal--and potentially still is. But whether or not that appeal will last over the long-term is the big question.
What do you think? Will Snapchat launch a similar Live feature, in the same way Instagram launched Stories not long after Snapchat?
In the meantime, follow me Live on Instagram @nicolascole77.