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Instagram Adding LIve Video To App

Of course, Instagram is planning to add live video to its existing app.

It’s owned by Facebook, after all, and as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent earnings call: “We’re putting video first.”

As Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom tells the Financial Times, “I think [live video] can enhance what we’re doing.”

In the meantime, Instagram rolled out some new tools on Thursday, including Boomerang and mentions.

In its Stories section, users can now employ Boomerang to send their videos into an endless play and rewind cycle. Until now, of course, Boomerang has existed as a standalone app. Now, users can simple swipe from “normal” to Boomerang mode to achieve the desired effect.

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Additionally, content creators can add URL links to their stories, which viewers can explore without actually leaving Instagram.

With mentions, meanwhile, users can now share who they are with -- or who they are thinking of -- by “mentioning” them in a story.

Mentioning people in stories works the same as it does in captions and comments. When people add text to your story, they can now type “@” followed by a username, and select the person they would like to mention. Then, their username will appear underlined in their story.

More broadly, Facebook continues to push forward with its video ambitions. Last month, the social giant even launched a major ad campaign for Facebook Live.

The multiplatform campaign includes TV and out-of-home spots -- including billboards and bus wraps -- as well as digital spots that will run both on and off Facebook’s flagship property.

Since May, the number of people broadcasting live at any given minute has grown by about 400%, according to internal Facebook figures. It is clearly an engagement magnet, and Facebook has also seen that users comment over 10 times more on Live videos than on regular videos.

Although broadcasts from public figures and publishers have generated some of Live’s largest audiences, the vast majority of live videos come from regular folks, Facebook finds.

Presently, new mobile video services -- from Facebook Live to Twitter’s Periscope -- are more focused on building audience. “We expect direct monetization to follow,” Nitesh Patel, a director at Strategy Analytics, said in a recent report.

As such, worldwide revenue from mobile video will reach $25 billion by 2021, according to the research firm

The success of Live is such a big deal to Facebook that the tech giant has been dishing out around $50 million to coax top media publishers and celebs to use it.

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