Instagram Event channels -- another Snapchat clone?

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Ben Patterson

Instagram is at it again -- lifting ideas right from Snapchat's playbook.

A few weeks ago, it was the Stories feature that Instagram borrowed from Snapchat. Now the video and photo-sharing app has debuted Event channels, which does exactly what it sounds like -- curates user videos around specific events for your viewing pleasure. But it sounds suspiciously like another Snapchat feature.

In IT Blogwatch, we watch it all unfold.

So what are Instagram Event channels? Kurt Wagner has the background:

Instagram really wants to become a video destination. It’s...why...the company will start suggesting...what it calls “event video channels”...when you’re browsing for content inside the app’s Explore section, Instagram will suggest...a bunch of user-generated videos about a specific event, like an Adele concert.
The company was already recommending videos around specific topics...but events are...harder to curate...Instagram will use an algorithm to curate the video feeds...and...users...will see events personalized for them...Instagram has tried this before...but those feeds were human-curated...The new feature is launching...only in the U.S.

But how exactly does it work? Rachel Ranosa fills in the blanks:

To make you "feel like you're in the front row," the channel throws in a mix of videos based on what you've been liking and who you've been following...the content comes from fellow Instagram users who are fans or attendees at an event.
The clips can range from a bird's eye a closeup...from the mosh pit to even on-the-ground footage of events.'re a fan of a[n]...artist who is in can videos even as the event happens.

And this is like a Snapchat feature, how? Tim Hardwick explains why it's déjà vu all over again:

The new Instagram feature is...similar to [Snaptchat's] Discover channel "Live Stories," and videos are shared publicly by users at a particular event. 
The Instagram certainly follows a trend. Earlier this month, the...platform announced "Instagram Stories," which functions identically to Snapchat's lets users post customized images and videos on their profile, where they live for 24 hours before disappearing completely.

So what is the benefit of this new feature? Brian Reigh has one idea:

No one wants to miss out on cool events...In fact, the fear of missing out is so great that live streaming is now becoming the norm in social media...With [Instagram's] Event will be seeing video clips taken by other Instagram users video quality may not be the best, and the audio might not be ideal. But...if Instagram’s main goal is to give you a...sense that you are at these events, then perhaps this is exactly what we need.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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