It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that Instagram has confirmed it is following in the footsteps of other apps by adding live video streaming to its platform. CEO Kevin Systrom talked about the feature in an interview with the Financial Times (via The Verge), explaining that it will enhance the Instagram experience.
"Live is really exciting for us," Systrom said. "I think it can enhance what we're doing. If I'm trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them."
The CEO didn’t reveal precisely how live streaming will work within Instagram, or when the feature is expected to arrive.
A news report from a Russian website last month revealed the function is being tested. The screenshots appear to show how live streams from followers can be accessed via the “stories” carousel – the Snapchat-style feature that was introduced in August. The live feeds appear in red, with a ‘Live’ banner beneath them.
There’s a chance that the feature could also work within the app's direct messages, allowing a Skype-like one-on-one experience.
With parent company Facebook continuing to pour resources into its live streaming efforts, it was only a matter of time before Instagram joined the party. While it’s possible to link the two social networks so Instagram photos appear automatically on Facebook, it's unclear if the same thing will be possible with live video.
Systrom may not have given a release date for Instagram live videos, but the fact he’s publicly talking about it now suggests we may see the feature sooner rather than later.