Instagram is getting more Snapchat-y again

Want Instagram to be more like Snapchat? Well, good news.
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Remember like, four months ago when Instagram was still just the place for nice photos and short video?

Since August, they've added the "Stories" feature (which is basically Snapchat stories, and is the reason you have those little circles at the top of the app now), and then the ability to tag people in those 24-hour videos/photos you share publicly.

So what's next? Well, it looks familiar.

Instagram said Monday it's introducing two new features:

The first (which is available now if you update your app) is "disappearing photos and videos."

So if you send a photo or video as a DM to another user, they get to see it once ... and then it's poof, gone. If someone takes a screengrab, Instagram will alert you. Yes, this sounds just like early Snapchat.

But there is one little improvement – you can send the disappearing messages to groups, too, so multiple people can see them and respond, and you can all view it together. If multiple people have replied and you haven't seen them yet, they'll show back-to-back.

The second new feature is live video. This will be out for everyone in the coming weeks, Instagram says.

Live Video on Instagram Stories from Instagram on Vimeo.

You can start it on your camera, and choose to include or not include comments. When you're done with your live story, it'll disappear forever.

Anyway, if you want more specific details, check out this Instagram blog post.

Why is Instagram doing all this?

Instagram said in June it has 500 million users – about 60 percent of them use it every day.

While that's a higher number of users than Snapchat, Business Insider has said it’s the engagement that makes Snapchat such a force. Bloomberg reported more than 100 million Snapchat users spend 25-30 minutes a day in the app.

That’s the opposite of what’s happened to Instagram, as The Verge explained. Instagram has turned into a more thoughtful photo app; “glamour shots” once or twice a week, rather than the spontaneous sharing that happens in Snapchat.

Instagram’s new stories feature was an attempt to get users to share more, and share more often, The Verge said.

Continuing to add new features to the Stories section of Instagram simply gives users more to do.

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