Live-streaming on the app could be a reality if a report from Russia turns out to be accurate. 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. Instagram declined to comment on the experiment.
Live video arguably makes more sense within the context of Instagram than it does Facebook. The former already boasts a sizable audience (500 million users and counting) of photography enthusiasts and selfie lovers that 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. Who’s to say they won’t do the same for live video?