Instagram has confirmed that, from today, users will be able to add guests to their live Instagram videos. Live videos were initially launched back in November of last year, but until now, the feature had been limited to just one user – the only possible interaction with other users being through the comment section. Today, though, the social network has confirmed the rollout of a new guest feature that allows users to add one person to their live video at any time.
Once users have started their live video, a new button towards the bottom right of the screen will allow users to invite any of those watching to join them. After the invitation is accepted, the screen will then be split in half, with the creator of the live video appearing in the top half and the guest showing up in the bottom half. As expected, once both users are connected, the guest is free to leave the live video at any time and the creator can also remove their guest whenever they wish to. Aside from this, to help distinguish regular streams from ones with other users, followers will be shown two stacked circles in the story section instead of the usual single circle, something that will appear in the story section of both the creator and guest's followers. Just like other live videos, users can comment and like the live stream and, once finished, users will still be given the option to discard the stream or save it to their Instagram Story where it will be available for viewing for up to 24 hours. Currently, Instagram hasn't announced any further plans in terms of adding the ability to include more users in an Instagram Story, but if the guest feature proves popular enough, the company could look into expanding the feature beyond the current limit.
Back in September, the Facebook-owned social network stated that video views on the platform were up 80 percent versus the year before, with live videos playing an important role in this. By introducing the ability to live stream with friends, users will be given the potential to reach a much wider audience, something that could benefit a number of businesses on the platform and therefore Instagram's revenues. Considering the feature is only just launching, though, it'll remain to be seen how popular it turns out being, but considering its potential, the possibility that Instagram could further expand it in the future is highly likely.