With its parent company currently stepping up promotion of its Live Video feature, it was just a matter of time before Instagram jumped in on the action as well.
It now appears that live-streaming on the app is a reality, as Instagram has confirmed that it is planning on the addition of a live video feature. In an interview with the Financial Times, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing. If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.”
This proves correct initial reports from Russia, which first came out in October. An eagle-eyed reader of a Russian news website spotted a new “Go Insta” button within the app’s camera interface that starts a live-stream, as evidenced in the screenshots below, via T Journal. A “schedule” button can also be seen at the top right of the display — interestingly, Facebook just debuted its very own live-stream scheduling feature.
Additionally, a round tile carrying a “live” icon is also featured alongside other Stories on the home feed. Clicking on the icon reportedly opens up a section entitled “popular live broadcasts,” although the user was presented with an error when attempting to access the page. Placing live videos next to Stories makes sense, seeing as both formats encourage spontaneous activity. The person was reportedly using a beta version of Instagram for Android.
Instagram recently launched a recommended Stories section within the Explore tab, meaning a similar curated list for live broadcasts wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Live video arguably makes more sense within the context of Instagram than it does within Facebook. The former already boasts a sizable audience (500 million users and counting) of photography enthusiasts and selfie lovers who are comfortable with documenting their lives and appearing onscreen. This makes them the ideal crowd for a live-streaming feature. Instagrammers have also fervently embraced Stories, with figures for the ephemeral slideshows reaching 100 million daily views just two months since the format’s launch.
While there’s no word yet as to timing, rest assured that at some point in the future, you’ll be able to use Instagram to get your live video fix, too.
Article originally published in October. Updated on 11-10-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added confirmation that Instagram is working on live video.