Instagram Introduces Live Video Streaming
Facebook are making a big deal about their new live video streaming feature at the moment. Aside from occupying a very prominent area of screen estate (top-left of the recently updated app), it even has its own TV commercial. It was therefore only a matter of time before Facebook-owned image sharing network Instagram introduced live streaming feature.
Back in November, Instagram announced that it would soon offer ‘new ways to share the moment’ by introducing the ability for its users to quickly begin streaming live video content with their followers. However, instead of simply adding a live video option, the team at Instagram decided to get rather creative.
Rewind a little further and you may remember when Instagram introduced a feature called ‘Stories’. Similar to popular Snapchat feature, Stories enabled Instagrammers to share moments of their day either in video or photo form. All they had to do was snap and shoot whenever the need arose, leaving Instagram to cleverly stitch the individual pieces of content together and make them viewable for 24 hours.
Live video is actually an extension of ‘Stories’, and any live footage currently taking place appears in the same little strip at the top of user’s feeds as the stories themselves. The only difference is that live video disappears the second it ends.
How does Instagram live video work?
App developers are gradually realising that less is more when it comes to user interface design, and the method by which live video has been integrated into Instagram is impressive. To access it, you simply swipe right from the feed and choose ‘LIVE’ in the resulting camera view. Tap the ‘Start Live Video’ button, and you’re away – simple. Broadcasts can last for up to an hour and followers will be informed via push notification when they begin. It’s interactive, too; viewers can comment and like the video while watching.
The effortlessness with which this can be achieved is still breathtaking. Not that long ago, live video streaming required all sorts of expensive gear to make it possible. Not any more – just a free, simple app and a smartphone is all you need. Instagram live video is still in the process of rolling out at the time of writing, but expect to see it appear within your app imminently if it isn’t there already.
The benefits of live Instagram Stories for businesses
Live video has always been compelling and immediately engaging. It offers a glimpse into events as they happen and, as far as businesses are concerned, presents a superb opportunity to engage with potential and existing customers.
If you’re a retailer, a quick live video of your new store front and interview with staff may tempt those who decide to tune in to head over and check it out. If you work in a B2B sector, regular behind-the-scenes glimpses of the operation and previews of new products could be just the thing to get people tuning in.
The great thing about live video streaming on services like Instagram is that metrics arrive instantly. With a quick glance, you can see how many people are viewing your feed at any one time and the number of likes and any comments received (to which you can also respond). This makes it the ideal testing ground for video marketing, if you’re yet to give it a try.
What do you think? Has live video streaming on services like Facebook and Instagram whetted your appetite for this form of content marketing?