Live video is the BIG THING buzzing in online marketing.  With a huge push by Facebook, marketers are scrambling to figure out the hippest and most effective way to leverage the novelty of seeing things happen in real time.

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is getting into the fun with their own brand new live video feature.  With the huge numbers of businesses using Instagram to leverage their brand it seems like something to at least talk about.  Especially if you have heavily invested in social media and your online marketing.

Just make sure you don’t blink.  Because Instagram video is real time ONLY.

Then like that… Poof he’s gone”
Your Instagram Live videos are kind of  like Keyser Söze (The Usual Suspects – my favorite movie!)

In a bit of an odd move, Instagram has followed Snapchat’s model, building live video into their ‘Stories’ functionality – thereby making it destructive content.  This means live video is exactly that.  Live.  No playback, no save, no archive for anyone who missed it.  Once your live Instragram video ends, its gonzo.

So, how will this be used?  Is it important for online marketing? Probably not.

Perhaps there is some novelty use for live events, concerts, etc who have a large following on Instagram (see: Justin Bieber).  But then, why not just use Facebook Live video, which also includes the benefit of being automatically archived and watchable later?  According to Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo, “around two-thirds of the watch time for Facebook Live happens when the video is no longer live” (source – TechCrunch).   Considering most Instagram users are also on Facebook it seems like Instagram live video is doomed for the ‘neat but never used’ pile.

Users Win – Marketers Shrug

What this move really shows is Instagram’s commitment to their end users over brands or marketers.   Instagram has always made it tough to embed links and has resisted automating posts.  As a personal user of Instagram (@chrisglubish) I actually like this focus.  I enjoy that Instagram hasn’t been corrupted (that much) by the machine.  But as a marketer interested in how social media can help brands, this move is mostly a big shrug and a meh.

If you or your brand want to use live video, it probably is best to explore Facebook Live, Periscope or other tools that are more business focused.  For now anyways…

It will be curious to see how this is used, even by casual users?  Time will tell.  Let me know what you think.

Author Chris Glubish

Husband. Dad. INTP (aka The Logician).

I come alive discussing business, purpose, new ideas, faith and the messy mix they make together.

I've built a lot of websites. I built this one. And this one, this one and this one along with about 400 more over the last 15 years.

I also one on one consult, helping clients thrive online.

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