Only a small group of users can test out the feature right now — but it’ll soon be available to everyone.
The more the merrier.
Instagram is debuting a new live streaming video feature, currently being piloted with a small number of randomly-selected users. If you’re one of the lucky ones who can access it now, you can invite a guest to join in your next Instagram Live broadcast.
Participants will join hosts on a split screen, with the creator of the live stream shown on top, and the guest on the bottom.
“Starting today, we’re testing a fun way to go live with a friend,” Instagram announced in a blog post. “Now, you can hang out and go live together, whether you’re just doing homework or catching up on your day…. Simply tap the new icon on the bottom right [of the screen] and tap ‘Add’ to invite anyone who’s currently watching.”
How is this new feature different than a call on Google Hangout or FaceTime? These multi-user live streams are public, meaning that anyone can see them — so you might want to watch what you say. Plus, you can save the live stream videos to your phone, or post them to your Instagram Story.
“After we launched the first version of Live [last November], we noticed that a lot of folks were using it with friends in person,” said Instagram product manager Shilpa Sarkar, according to 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.”
Instagram Stories, home of the app’s Live feature, have been popular with users since they launched last year. In June, TechCrunch reported that Stories had hit 250 million users per day — substantially more than rival Snapchat’s 166 million daily users.
Users around the world will soon be able to enjoy the new live stream function, even if they can’t now. “This feature is currently testing with a small percentage of our community and will be rolling out globally over the next few months,” Instagram wrote.
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