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Add guests to live video streams in Instagram
October 29, 2017, 4:03 pm
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Instagram is enhancing its video streaming service with a new feature that would allow users who run live video streams to add guests into their videos.
With this new feature, Instagram hopes to draw out more videos from its 800 million users, who it believes cannot resist an opportunity to be more social.

The feature works by letting people who are streaming a video to add anyone who is watching the video at that moment, by clicking on the ‘add’ button in the corner of the screen. When a person gets added, he/she joins you in a separate window below yours on the screen. For now, it looks like you can only add one person in at a time.

If you are on Instagram and you have friends who are using the live video + guest feature, they will show up as two circles stacked together in the stories status bar. These videos, as with regular live videos, can be discarded after they run, or saved to live on as Stories, which can in turn then be shared to Facebook as Facebook Stories.

The logic behind adding guests is clear for Instagram. Not only does it give users who might hesitate to use the video feature a little more confidence if they can have a friend with them, but it potentially adds more engagement to the mix. The status icon for a live broadcast gets sent out to the friend networks of both the video host and guest, potentially creating a much larger pool of would-be watchers.

It also lays the groundwork for a different kind of interaction on the video front. With guests, you are essentially creating dialogues and ways for people to interact. That implies conversations and perhaps new kinds of videos getting created around, say, interviews or other kinds of interactions beyond the kind that already exist in comments on your posts.

Adding guests into live videos is also a step away — or at least alongside — the basic ‘selfie’ format that has dominated the medium of mobile video for most of its life to date.

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