A month after rolling out their Live Guests option to all users, Instagram's adding another element to the process, with viewers now able to submit a request to join a live stream in progress.
As explained by Instagram:
“When watching a friend’s live video, simply tap the “Request” button in the comments section. You’ll see a confirmation that your friend has accepted your request, and you’ll have a moment to prepare. Once you’re live, the screen will split in half so you can hang out live with your friend. You can leave your friend’s live video at any time, making it easy to join for a quick hello or a longer chat.”
The option immediately reminded me of Blab, the ill-fated four person live-stream app which shut down last year. One of the great features of Blab was its live interactivity – guests could submit a request to join at any time in order to contribute their own thoughts and opinions.
That same functionality could make Instagram live-streaming more appealing to brands. The new requests option could provide a new way to run interactive Q and As, with the guests able to ask their questions in person, rather than posting them in the comments. Of course, it’s live, so there’s some level of risk in that also, but that extra level of immediate, face-to-face interaction could help build community and provide more interesting live material.
When you get a live request during an Instagram live-stream, you’ll see a new notification come up, with the number of requests you have outstanding shown in red on the ‘two faces’ tab.
When you tap the icon, you’ll see both requests and current viewers. You can either accept a request or invite any viewer to join you.
It’s another interesting – if not overly original – addition to Instagram, which provides new considerations for how you might conduct your Insta live streams.
The live update is part of Instagram version 24, which is now available for iOS and Android.