Instagram CEO Confirms Live Video Plans (Report)

Janko Roettgers
Variety

Facebook-owned Instagram is looking to add live video streaming to its service, CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed in an interview with the Financial Times Thursday. “Live is really exciting for us, Systrom told the paper. “I think it can enhance what we’re doing.”

Systrom went on to say that live video has the potential to strengthen the relationships between its users. He didn’t comment on how exactly Instagram is going to integrate live video, and when the company will launch the new feature. Reports indicate that Instagram has already been testing live video streaming with some of its users, displaying live streams from contacts similar to the way it currently surfaces the recently-launched Instagram Stories feature.

Instagram launched Stories as an answer to Snapchat in August. Stories offers Instagram users a way to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours with their followers.

Instagram’s head of product Kevin Weil at the time readily acknowledged that the feature was a copy of what Snapchat has been doing. Stories is going to be a format that a lot of experiences are going to adopt over time,” he told Variety in an interview.

In a way, expanding towards live could be another way for Instagram to jump onto a popular trend — even if that means to duplicate features already available on Facebook proper. Social live video was pioneered by Twitter’s Periscope app and others, but has since also become a big focus for Facebook.

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