Instagram Live has officially landed.

But what is it exactly? ‘Live’ gives people with profiles the chance to stream to their audiences.

Facebook set the precedent earlier this year by unleashing this option to its network. Real-time video is the new trend, I think because of our constant desire for authenticity of content.

Instagram has absorbed elements from the insanely successful streaming platforms Snapchat, Periscope and YouTube in an attempt to create the ultimate visual experience for its users.

’Live’ is inherently relevant for Instagram, an app built on ‘Instant’ photos — it’s in the name. With this and Instagram Stories though, will the need for our photo feeds disappear? Will this eclipse the mosaic of arranged images that we plan and post?

While people go ‘Live’, others can sit and watch, and comment in real-time. 

Rapper 21 Savage logged off quickly after posting his first live video because of this feature. Appearing onscreen, he was greeted with a torrent of comments perforated with abusive language. You can switch off people’s ability to comment, but it’s still a process that allows for incessant trolling, and then the ability to watch those being trolled’s reactions…

But it also grants brands real-time constructive feedback, and an opportunity to create more of an intimate, conversational dimension to a channel – be it sometimes a little one-sided. Moreover, it has an ‘Explore’ tab, where the best live content will be displayed on the homepage, making it easier to be discovered by a global audience.

Where will Instagram go next after this? Perhaps they’ll bring out something similar to Snapchat Glasses to enable users to live-stream as they go about their daily lives. Will we end up with a society where we can login and see the world through anyone’s eyes?

There are so many questions surrounding the frontier of social media. All we know is that the boundaries are expanding so rapidly, that we all need to stay alert to stay on top of our game. It’s exciting; it’s growing; it’s revolutionary.