Riding on the success of its Live Video strategy, Facebook is now looking to introduce live streaming capabilities to its photo-sharing app ‘Instagram’. The feature currently seems to be experimental but if rumors are to be believed, then it is coming sooner than anyone expected.
One of the readers* of Russian publication T Journal has spotted the existence of live video functionality on the beta version of the app. The screenshot and video evidence sent over to the website highlights two mysterious features that will pique your interest. We’ve contacted Instagram to confirm and will update you if we receive a reply.
Firstly, when the reader power ups the photo-sharing app and navigates to the ‘Search’ section, he notices a curious Instagram Story lined in red with the words ‘Live’ clearly stamped on it. Tapping on it however only leads to a blank section titled “Popular Live Broadcasts,” which never loads the story(or the live-stream, if there was any in the first place!?). This doesn’t come as a surprise because the feature is still under development and hasn’t officially been announced by Instagram.
In addition to this failed livestream, the reader has also discovered the existence of a huge, prominent ‘Go Insta’ button in the app’s camera interface. This will most likely be used to start a live broadcast, but there is no word on how a user will view someone’s livestream. You might have also noticed the ‘Schedule’ button that resides on the top right corner of the interface. Interaction within the livestream could be controlled in a manner similar to that applied to the Stories feature.
Though Live Video might be the center of attraction of Facebook’s growth strategy, the addition of the same to Instagram has its pros and cons. The pro being the availability of yet another form of content for businesses and ad networks on the photo-sharing platform. This also brings in more moolah for Instagram, but at the grave expense of user-experience.
The platform is already cluttered with different-sized photos, videos, stories, ads and what not, so where would live video streams reside on Instagram. Even if they do reside in another new section, then how will the user discover this new form of content still remains unanswered. Also since the feature is currently under testing, there is no word on when it’ll get a wider public release.
*The reader was using a beta release of the photo-sharing app on his Nexus 6P. I’m also a beta tester for Instagram but the ‘Go Insta’ feature isn’t unavailable on my Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Do leave a comment if you discover the live streaming features on your app.