Instagram Launches Snapchat-Like Live Events Channel

Latest Update Allows Users to Share Videos From Top Concerts and Sports Matches

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Instagram personalizes its live events channel with its algorithm.
Instagram personalizes its live events channel with its algorithm. Credit: Instagram

Instagram is trying to kick Snapchat out of its front-row seat at live events.

The photo- and video-sharing app launched a new channel dedicated to live concerts, sports and other events, where users will share videos from the venues and users can watch from anywhere, Instagram announced today. The feature is similar to Snapchat's Live Stories, and this is the second time in the past month that Instagram has updated to match services offered by its upstart rival.

Last month, Instagram released a feature called Stories, which Snapchat offers under the same name. Stories are for everyday users, brands and publishers to post video chronicles that disappear in 24 hours.

The emphasis on live events borrows from the concept of stories, but focuses them on special events, like an Adele concert or the Olympics.

Snapchat has said it reached 50 million viewers in the first week of Olympics coverage inside the app. This type of premium content, surrounding high-profile events, can be lucrative.

For instance, Snapchat and Twitter have been selling multimillion-dollar sponsorships around National Football League content coming up this season.

Instagram, morphing into a Snapchat alternative, now offers many of the same social activities, giving its power users a reason to stick with its app instead of wandering to rivals.

Instagram has 300 million daily users, compared with Snapchat's 150 million.

Instagram did not announce any branding opportunities for its events sections, but marketing typically finds a way into these new features.

The events channel will appear in the Explore section of Instagram, which has other channels dedicated to videos grouped by topics and interests, such as fitness and food.

Instagram has a natural advantage because it is owned by Facebook and benefits from its ability to deliver content by algorithm fine-tuned to users' specific tastes. "This new channel is personalized for you and highlights events you might like," Instagram said in a blog post Wednesday.

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