Instagram Live Streaming Now Available for U.S. Users
Instagram has today released their new live-streaming option to U.S. users.
Instagram announced the pending arrival of live-streaming on the platform a few weeks back, and US users are now the first to see it. And some big names have already jumped on board to try it out - with impressive (though very early) results.
If you're in the US and want to give it a shot, first update your Instagram app (version 10.2 is now available). Once you've done that, swipe right from your home feed, select 'Live' from the bottom bar and tap the large 'Start Live Video' prompt.
Once you go live, a selected group of your friends who've previously shown in interest in Live video (or who have notifications switched on for your profile) will be notified that you're broadcasting.
Instagram has also added new "Top Live" section in the Explore tab which will highlight some of the best content being broadcast at any given moment to help you locate streams to check out.
It'll be interesting to see what live-streaming adds to the Instagram experience - for many (including myself) it doesn't seem to fit with the platform's normal, image-focused approach. But obviously the introduction of Stories has expanded its use-case, and as Instagram's Head of Product Kevin Weil recently told Recode:
"We want Instagram to be a place where you share all of your moments, [including] the more private moments or the inside jokes that are relevant not for your entire Instagram following but for a smaller group of folks."
And really, all the discussion is academic - now that the feature is live we'll see how users respond and what the take up is like.
If the numbers seen by Gary Vaynerchuck are anything to go on, it at least shows viewers are willing to tune in to live content on the platform. A unique case, sure, but something to monitor nonetheless.
Live-streaming on Instagram is available to US users from today, with a global rollout happening "in the next few weeks".
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter