Instagram Parroting Snapchat Again? Everything You Need To Know About The Gram’s New Live Events Feature

Instagram has had a long history of “borrowing” features from rival social media site SnapChat. Both sites are perhaps most well-known for their filters, which let users tweak their photos. Some are sensible, some are fun, and others are just plain silly. Instagram recently added a “Stories” feature to its repertoire, and now is reportedly adding a Live Events feature as well. If you find yourself swimming in selfies, overloaded with pictures of people’s lattes, fear not; we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the new Live Events feature.

Live Events: Kinda Just What They Sound Like

CNET found that Live Events are pretty self-explanatory; live broadcasts of things like concerts, sporting events, and other things of interest. If this sounds familiar, you might remember that Google recently introduced a similar feature, Hangouts On Air, that lets people have chats with influential figures in real-time. Take that, people who use SnapChat filters to turn themselves into animals.

Shawn Royster entertaining the crowd here in Lowell at Future Docs. #roysterproductions #liveevents #futuredocsnow #roysterevents

A photo posted by Royster Productions (@roysterproductions) on

Launch Date Info

The new feature rolls out today, August 17, and will be accessible under the “Explore” heading in Instagram. If you don’t see it yet, no need to worry: like any new software feature, it may take some time to become available everywhere. While the idea is interesting, Live Events are by no means new and have been tried in some form or another by other social media sites (cough, cough Periscope). There’s even a company called EventsTag that lets you host your own Live Event on Instagram for business purposes.

Instagram Snapchat Live Events
Instagram recently introduced Live Events, a feature that takes cues from SnapChat's Live Stories function. [Image Via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Content Curation Just For You

Interestingly enough, no two ‘Grammers will see the same content in the Events section, as Consumerist learned. This is because events will be tailored to each user’s interests.

????What do you think of when you think of Unicycling????? Comment below⬇

A video posted by Voodoo Unicycles (@voodoounicycles) on

Marketingland found that what is shown to you is based on your location as well as accounts you follow. For instance, living in New York could result in you being shown a Yankees game, or following Jay-Z on Instagram might lend itself to you viewing a live concert with Hov himself.

Instagram Snapchat Live Events
A Facebook employee demonstrates Instagram's video feature shortly after its premiere in April 2012. [Image Via Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]

Land Of The Free, Home of Live Events

If you’d like to get a glimpse of the new Live Events feature, you’ll need to be on American soil. As Mashable discovered, the new feature is only available in the U.S. That may remain subject to change, but there’s no word yet on when or if the rest of the world will get this new development. If you’re not in the U.S., you can always wait or find a friend you can trade phones with to experience the events function. It’s possible Instagram is trying to use the U.S. as a testing grounds to see whether their Live Events are something worth scaling to other countries.

Nice Try, Instagram, But You Forgot One Thing!

There is one slight detail missing from Instagram’s new update. As USA Today found, users won’t be able to watch news stories live on the Events page, as said events depend on enough users simultaneously uploading videos of the occurrence. This might be to avoid copyright issues, or possibly due to the fact that Instagram does not want to get involved in the tricky business of live streaming political affairs.

Virtual Reality Is Virtually Reality

Android Authority pointed out a big benefit of the new Live Events feature: using it to virtually experience events for free. For example, concerts and sports games could be “attended” without having to pay admission. This also means you can join an event and leave it at will, and removes the necessity of a potentially long commute. Bummed that your’re going to miss your fave artist’s new tour stop cuz it’s halfway around the country? Instagram has you covered. Really want to go to the Red Sox game, but live in California? Instagram thought of that, too.

What are your thoughts on the new Instagram development? Are Live Events useful, or simply another source of noise in an already-overloaded world?

[Photo by iStock]