Instagram Gets Into the Disappearing Video Game to Counter Snapchat

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Instagram's direct messaging feature now looks more like Snapchat.
Instagram's direct messaging feature now looks more like Snapchat. Credit: Instagram
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Instagram is getting into the disappearing act as it tries to replace Snapchat as the essential app for ephemeral photos and videos.

The Facebook-owned app launched a live video feature that broadcasts and quickly deletes. It also introduced disappearing photos and video chatting, which replicates the core Snapchat experience.

It's clear that Instagram has become Facebook's main line of defense against the surging popularity of its rival.

"Now you can send disappearing photos and videos directly to groups and individual friends in a spontaneous, pressure-free way," Instagram said in a blog post on Monday.

Direct messaging allows individuals and groups to share.
Direct messaging allows individuals and groups to share. Credit: Instagram

In August, the company also launched a stories section, which copied Snapchat's video montage feature, allowing people to post strings of short video clips that lend to broader personal storytelling.

Instagram has said that 100 million people view stories every day. On Monday, Instagram said 300 million people use direct messages.

Snapchat has 150 million daily users, and is laying the groundwork to take the company public, potentially raising billions of dollars.

Facebook has been realigning the company to confront any challenge Snapchat could mount and has adopted many of its innovations.

Last week, Instagram introduced vertical video ads, a format that Snapchat pioneered.

Facebook also has brought animated filters into its properties, which allow people to decorate videos with fun augmented reality flare.

Live videos in the stories section will disappear after they're done.
Live videos in the stories section will disappear after they're done. Credit: Instagram

The challenge for both companies is to inspire more people to create and share inside their apps.