Instagram’s latest feature has arrived and if you’re a fan of social streaming this is the update you’ve been waiting for. After piloting a beta of their “Live Guest” feature with a small group of users in early August, the platform made an announcement last week that they will be making the feature available to all users starting October 25th.
What is Instagram Live Guests?
In a statement from Instagram, the company said they’ve always looked at live video as the best way to share moments in a more authentic way. With that said, they understand that going live to hundreds of people all alone can be intimidating. The Live Guest feature helps to alleviate some of that stress and gives you an easy way to bring in backup while you’re broadcasting.
To use the feature, simply tap the new icon on the bottom right of the live broadcast screen and tap “Add”. From here you can invite anyone who’s currently watching and once they join, the screen will split in two letting both users stream together. The process was designed to be as simple as possible, giving users a quick and easy way to connect via Instagram Live.
Another new addition that comes with the live guest feature is an updated Stories icon that will show the profile pic of the two streamers involved in the story. This subtle difference let’s your followers know when a collaborative stream is underway. Once the stream is over, the host has the option to upload to their stories or discard it, which means that these live streams have the option to disappear once they wrap up.
Targeting the Younger Generation
The Live Guest feature actually arose from real-life use cases of Instagram with younger audiences. Instagram Live product manager Shilp Sarkar noted that they very quickly saw a trend of younger generations “hanging out” on live streams. It was a particularly an interesting behaviour and the team quickly started developing new tools to encourage it.
With more and more youth taking to live streaming, Instagram is hoping this new option will help boost the platform’s appeal with younger users and provide new creative tools for those looking to collaborate via live-stream.
Next Steps for Live Guests
At its current stage, Live Guests is limited to a single guest at a time although you can switch that guest easily. For now, Instagram seems focused on a more intimate sharing experience that doesn’t overwhelm the streamer or the audience. According to Instagram, 85% of a user’s direct messages on the platform are shared with the same three friends, which seems to highlight demand for smaller group sharing.
Beyond individual users, the new feature is expected to open up a world of possibilities for Instagram’s business customers who want to expand their streams. For example a business could now conduct interviews via Instagram live, post higher quality guided tours with one person speaking as another holds the camera, and even provide multi-angle video from events.
Whether you’re currently into live streaming or not, Instagram live with the new live guests feature is definitely worth checking out.
Do you use live video for personal or professional promotion? Would you consider doing a live stream with a guest? Be sure to let us know in the comments below