You can now go live on Instagram with your friends thanks to its newest feature
Why it matters to you
Previously, you could only broadcast your live streams on Instagram as a solo entity.
Camera-shy until you have a companion? Instagram understands and it is doing everything it can to help get you broadcast live to all your friends, family, and followers. On Tuesday, the social media app announced the debut of a “fun way to go live with a friend.” No, it’s not just a matter of having someone else in your frame — instead, Instagram is beginning to let some folks add other users (specifically, those who are already watching your live-stream) directly to their broadcasts. Think of it as a virtual conversation that you are having in public.
Instagram envisions its sizable user base hanging out over Live together “whether you’re just doing homework or catching up on your day.” Once you add a fellow user, your screen will split in two, and the second broadcaster will appear below you. Those viewing your now joint feed will still be able to like and comment as you interact.
If you ever want your own show back, do not worry. Instagram assures its fans that they can remove guests or add another person at any time. And similarly, if you are sharing the spotlight with an Instagram friend, you can always choose to leave. Once you are finished with your broadcast, you can either choose to share the video to Instagram Stories or tap “Discard” to erase the evidence of your two (or more) person show.
“After we launched the first version of Live [last November], we noticed that a lot of folks were using it with friends in person,” Shilpa Sarkar, a product manager on the Live team, told Refinery29. “We wanted to bring that offline behavior online, so to speak, with a feature that allows you to be live with a friend even if you aren’t in the exact same space.”
Social media influencers and celebrities could also benefit from this new feature, allowing them to interact directly with their fans in a unique fashion. “Since introducing live video in November, millions of people have used it to connect with friends and followers in an authentic way. Now, you can have even more fun connecting with people in the moment,” Instagram noted.
Currently, Instagram is testing the tool with a “small percentage” of its user base. A global rollout is expected over the next few months.