Instagram live video is here: one part Facebook Live, one part Snapchat

Instagram is rolling out live video inside Stories to all US users starting today, the picture-ific social network has announced. 

Now, anyone can start broadcasting to their followers for up to an hour at a time. When you're done recording, the video disappears, never to be seen again. 

If the disappearing act reminds you of Snapchat, you're not wrong. Some may wonder what the point of an instantly deleted video is (parent company Facebook lets you keep live videos if you want), but as Instagram sees it, you'll "feel comfortable sharing what you want, anytime." 

Instagram seems keen to foster a spontaneous, pressure-free sharing experience when it comes to live video, though some users may feel frustrated they can't save a particularly stellar broadcast once they stop recording.

To go live, swipe right into the stories camera and switch on "Live". Viewers can comment and like your video as you're broadcasting, and you can pin a comment for all to see, or disable comments altogether.

To watch live video, just look for the highlighted profiles in the Stories bar. New live stories will be posted in the Explore tab, and Top Live will highlight the most popular videos of the moment.

It's little surprise Instagram is pushing live video out of the test kitchen considering just about every other social network - especially parent company Facebook - is banking their hopes on user-generated broadcasts.

Instagram is late to the live game, but considering it has over 500 million monthly active users and over 300 million users daily, live video might only help to bolster those numbers, plus keep people on the service for longer. 

Though live video is only available to US users right now, Instagram plans on launching the feature in other regions over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.  

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.