Instagram Live: What It Means For The Event Industry

Facebook just made a statement through an Instagram product release that will re-shape the landscape of social media as we know it.

Facebook is aiming to kill Twitter and the signs are visible. The ubiquitous platform wants to capture the biggest share market in the live experience. We already discussed how Facebook is taking over events.

Today they went a step further.

Instagram Live

Instagram is the platform that is killing Twitter when it comes to live sharing. While Facebook is still a bit more static, Instagram captures the live moment with a strong visual impact.

Instagram today made two announcements that impact the way we use the social network.

First they announced INSTAGRAM DIRECT:

  • Users can privately send photos that will disappear once they have been viewed.
  • They will be able to draw on the images, and add text and doodles, much like Snapchat.
  • Instagram Direct messages can be sent to either a single user or a group, but only if they are followers.
  • Users will be alerted if a screenshot is taken or if a video is replayed.
  • The feature is available to all Instagram users as of today.

This is an even stronger take at Snapchat and a direct attempt to gain its user base.

The second, even bigger and more relevant announcement is INSTAGRAM LIVE:

Some key facts:

  • Users can start live streaming through the STORIES camera.
  • The option to go live appears when users swipe over to add a picture or video to their story.
  • When a live video starts:
    • a small “live” badge on the story icon can be seen by followers.
    • a notification is sent out to only the followers who engage the most with the user’s content.
  • In terms of interaction, viewers are able to add comments and send hearts.
  • They can be reported or blocked indefinitely from the user’s broadcasts if necessary.
  • The video disappears as soon as the broadcast ends, and is not available for replay.
  • A “top live” widget appears at the top of the feed to suggest broadcasts from other users based on an algorithm. 
  • Live video is only made available today to a test group of users. It should roll out to all Instagram users in the coming weeks.


  • These new features focus on promoting more private and less fabricated experiences
  • The aim is to get people to live stream more frequently rather than concentrating on broadcasting exclusive moments.
  • Since live videos disappear immediately, viewers will fear missing out on them and will watch immediately.
  • This update allows users to completely handle viewers and know exactly who is watching or seeing their videos and photos, and when.

Event Industry Implications

We are the Live industry and the biggest revolution in social media is happening right now, with major platforms embracing live video.

Instagram Live is a new tool that many events should consider for quick live video. This is a direct Periscope competitor that is about Now, rather than a Facebook Live competitor which also caters for desktop users.

It is a product geared towards a different audience. Hence if your event has a stronger Instagram presence you may want to start looking at Live soon.

The sooner you do it, the better for exposure. New platforms are more permissive when launched and this is a great opportunity to do so.

In Conclusion

Instagram Direct and Live are two massive product announcements that you should consider for your event.

To celebrate the launch, come and follow us on Instagram where we will show live video from IBTM world, where EventMB will coordinate the innovation zone!