Smartphones display the Instagram logo.

Instagram Live Stories To Be Rolled Out Globally Over Coming Week

Instagram live stories, which have been available to U.S. users since November 2016, will be available to users around the globe in about one week’s time, according to a new blog post by the photo sharing app. Live stories are similar to live video streaming services with YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, with some distinguishing features.

Once an Instagram live story is finished, the video can no longer be accessed by users, in contrast with other services, where live videos can be stored to be viewed at a later time. Instagram live videos can be as long as one hour. To use the new feature, users just need to swipe right in their Instagram feed and select “live video.”

For those looking for live stories to watch, “Top Live” will list current videos streaming at the moment. The new live video option is only available to users who have installed Instagram version 10.0 and higher.

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom.
Instagram co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Systrom. [Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

“From real-time makeup tutorials to live DJ sets, it’s been exciting to watch as the community shares new sides of their lives,” the Instagram blog wrote of the U.S. live story roll out.

Instagram was first made available to the public in its current form for the iPhone in 2010 and for Android smartphones in 2012. In April of that year, over one million users downloaded the Android Instagram app its first day. With the iPhone app, Instagram first reached one million users in 2010.

Instagram was purchased by Facebook, Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) in April 2012, in a $1 billion stock and cash deal, as reported by CNN Money, made shortly before the social networking giant’s initial public offering on May 18, 2012, as reported by Investopedia. About a month earlier, a round of venture capital equity financing valued Instagram at $500 million, as reported by Fortune. The worth of the photo-sharing company had doubled in a very short period.

In 2015, Mashable named Instagram as No. 1 in its list of “100 best iPhone apps of all time.”

“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Mashable quoted the late Steve Jobs from the 2007 launch of the Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone at the head of its best iPhone apps piece. The publication noted that even though there were other smartphones at the time, such as the BlackBerry, that it was the iPhone that “jump-started” the app design and writing industry.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg [Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Despite the presence of other photo sharing apps on the market when Instagram really hit the scene in 2010, Mashable claims that Instagram “perfected the format.” In fact, the site claims that Instagram was at least partly responsible for helping the iPhone to become “so coveted.” Mashable also states that the photo app owes a debt of gratitude for its “original virality to Twitter.”

Besides being a popular place to share photos, Instagram is big business, not only to its corporate parent Facebook, but to celebrities with significant social media followings. In July 2016, ET Canada reported that Selena Gomez’s Instagram posts were worth $500,000 each, up from $300,000, in December 2015.

Figures for the worth of Instagram live stories videos produced by celebrities remain elusive. Given the price tags attached to photos, envisioning an even higher value does not take much of an imagination. Since coming public in 2012, Facebook stock has returned 238.4 percent, compared with a gain of 61.0 percent for the general market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, reported by Yahoo! Finance. Instagram had only 13 employees when it was purchased by Facebook. An official current employee count is elusive; in September 2013, a user on Quora stated that the company had 12 employees, one less than when it was purchased by Facebook.

[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]