The Famous Disappearing Act of Instagram Direct

By Anna Barden | @awbarden

Life flashes before our eyes. Before we know it, we’ve gone from our first day in kindergarten to accepting job offers and wheeling headfirst into adult responsibilities.

It’s the same with Instagram’s new disappearing photos and videos feature - except this time, you get to watch your friends’  lives flash before your eyes. The disappearing photos and videos, which can only be sent to people who follow you through Instagram Direct, are the latest way to stay up to date with your closest friends and family in a “spontaneous, pressure-free way.”

If you’re thinking, “hey, isn’t that just like Snapchat?” You’re mostly correct.

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

The messaging capabilities include filters, doodles and a replay feature, which allows a user to get a second look at a photo or video after it has disappeared. The resemblance is quite uncanny to Snapchat.

Along with the update, Instagram is becoming less “nudes friendly” and more screenshot-aware. As it is with Snapchat, the app will notify users if and when their temporary content becomes saved in someone else’s photo library forever (or for however long they choose to keep it.)

However, taking a screenshot of public, non-disappearing content, will not notify a user. It will simply direct you to “share it” with friends directly through the app.

What sets this feature apart from Snapchat is that you can send your disappearing content both to individuals and to a group. If you choose to send a photo or video to a group, everyone you include can see each other’s responses, like a chat room or group text. Snapchat has yet to incorporate groups into their platform, but considering how neck-and-neck the competition is between it and Instagram, it likely won’t be long.

Do you prefer Snapchat or Instagram Direct? Let us know @socialmediadel