Instagram has now made it possible to add guests to live video streams. This is huge news for many who have sought different ways to enhance live video feeds. Live video broadcasting apps and sites have been experimenting with this feature in the past however this is Instagram’s first foray into using it. It is hoped that through the use of adding guests into live video that it can tap into the more than 800 million Instagram users who don’t regularly use live video streaming.
This update on Instagram’s live video streaming capability builds on a limited test that started in August 2017. Instagram’s live video and messaging application just launched a little under a year ago, and since then, the platform has been looking at ways to encourage more users to engage with it.
How adding guests to Instagram live video streaming works is simple. Anyone live streaming can add anyone watching by clicking on the “add” button in the corner of the screen. When a person is added, that person joins you in a separate window located below yours on screen. For the time being, you can only add one person to your live stream at a time. Therefore, in order to add a second person, you need to remove the first.
Note how on Instagram when friends are using live video and the guest feature, they appear as circles stacked together in the ‘stories’ status bar. Any live video can be discarded after they are done or they can be saved as ‘stories’. After a live video is saved as an Instagram story, it can then be shared on Facebook as well and potentially other platforms in the future. As of now, there are no integrations built-in to collaborate Instagram’s live video with WhatsApp.
Users who have hesitated to use the live video streaming feature may now be inclined to do so, or at least this is the hope of Instagram. The ability to have a friend with them while they live stream is no doubt an entirely different experience than being on one’s own live streaming to the world. It also has been shown to encourage and increase engagement. When a live broadcast is launched, a status icon is sent out across your Instagram network as well as the network of your guest. Throughout the months to come, it will be interesting to see how live video numbers change. Instagram continues to heighten the live video streaming feature with new additions and modifications, with much publicity and acclaim from those in the industry.
As Instagram continues to grow its live video capabilities, it seems to be improving on similar features from platforms like Snapchat and Periscope. With a massive audience to build from, Instagram live video may be the future of live streaming within a social media landscape. According to September estimates, live video viewing on Instagram was already up 80 percent when compared with last year’s numbers. There’s no telling what the next step is in Instagram’s domination of the social media marketplace.