Instagram launches live 'disappearing' video and changes direct messaging

Instagram has become the latest social media company to embrace live video broadcasts.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, which owns Instagram, YouTube and Twitter's live-streaming app Periscope, Instagram has released a new feature that allows its users to broadcast live at any time.

Anyone watching can comment and react by posting emoji that pop up on the live video screen.

If it sounds familiar, it is.

But there's one major difference.

As soon as you finish your broadcast, it will disappear forever.

That means you won't be able to share a link to your broadcast and viewers won't be able to watch it after it's happened.

In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson said that was "so you can feel comfortable sharing what you want, anytime".

To begin with, the feature will be rolled out to a select group of users before being available to everyone in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, Instagram launched Stories which allows users to post a series of video and photo snapshots and annotate them with words and emoji - Snapchat style.

Those stories last for 24 hours.

The second major feature to be released by Instagram is a change to direct messages, both one-on-one and to groups.

Users will now be able to send disappearing photos and videos privately among friends, as opposed to just text.