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Instagram Stories: Boomerang now included, but is live video next?

Facebook-owned social network Instagram is reportedly trialing live video on its Instagram Stories feature, similar to Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live.

The company also officially announced that the likes of Boomerang, mentions and links are all coming to Instagram Stories, which aims to “make your story even more fun”.

What’s confirmed

Firstly, Boomerang can be used in Instagram Stories much like with traditional posted images.

“Swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera. A new format picker under the record button lets you select “Boomerang” mode. Tap record and the camera will stitch together a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward,” the company explains.

Mentions also allows users to, well, mention those are also featured in your story.

Boomerang now works within Instagram Stories

“When you add text to your story, type “@” followed by a username and select the person you’d like to mention. Their username will appear underlined in your story,” the company notes.

Tapping that mention will also take users to that profile.

Finally, “See More” links will help brands better link users to their websites and other content. Instagram explains that it’s already being  used by Chance the Rapper, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and content portal Bustle. This is currently only available for verified accounts.

But beyond these additions, Instagram’s live video ambitions is the real interest.

Instagram live video: how, what, why and when?

The news of the mystery feature first emerged from Russian news site T Journal in late October, after the site posted a video of a tweaked Instagram Stories layout. Select icons boasted a “Live” badge, which suggests that the current account was broadcasting live video.

Tapping the icon, however, returned an error.

The above video was running a beta version of Instagram on Android.

Another screenshot from the publication suggests that Instagram could be making use of the “Go Insta!” catchphrase within its live broadcast feature.

But is any of this actually confirmed? Not quite.

In an interview with TechCrunch (H/T The Next Web), Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom also notes that the company is considering live video, but didn’t explicitly concede that the company will be pushing the feature to its app any time soon.

‘Go Insta!’ might just be 2017’s trendiest social catchphrase, if Instagram has its way

Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing“, he explains.

A move into broadcasting does make sense for the company. Video posts are rising in popularity across all social networks, most notably Facebook. In Q1 2016, around 55% of posts from the top 30 brands on the network included video, with still images slowly losing ground.

This will also give Instagram a leg up over Snapchat, which doesn’t have a live video offering as yet.

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone and game reviews over on Gearburn. More

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