Instagram has added a new option for Indian users which enables the addition of up to three guests on an Instagram Live stream.
Up till now, Instagram has only allowed one guest per stream, but with Live usage rising in the Indian market, Instagram's looking to provide more capacity to host larger chats, in order to maximize engagement.
Instagram's been working on the new option for some time - back in March, in a Q and A session, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noted that they were looking to enable more guests in Live broadcasts.
"Right now you can only go live with one other person at a time, we're looking into if we could expand that, but it's not clear that that is the most pressing thing that we can add to Live, versus just getting stability up, adding more features, making it available on web, etcetera."
It seems that the case for Live guests, especially in India, has indeed become more pressing - as noted by mysmartprice, Instagram Live views have grown by over 60% in India throughout 2020, while Instagram is also looking to maximize its market presence in the absence of TikTok, which was banned in India back in June.
Reels is Instagram's big push in this respect, but live-streaming is also another function that Instagram can effectively replace. TikTok, it's worth noting, reportedly had more than 200 million Indian users at the time of its ban, presenting significant opportunity for both Instagram and YouTube in the market.
It's not clear yet whether Instagram will look to expand its live guests option to other regions, but you would assume that, eventually, it will consider broadening the option.
Right now, users can see when a Live stream includes a guest within the Stories bubble at the top of the app.
Whether there's a new variation for when four people are in a stream is also not clear, but that could be a good way to boost awareness, and maximize viewership of these larger, group chats.
It could definitely be a good option. For Instagram, it needs to weigh the server load and capacity of managing such at scale, which could see it take a while to roll out in more regions. But you can imagine it would prove popular, and it could open up new considerations for brand broadcasts, including interviews, panel discussions, interactive guests slots, etc.
It'll be interesting to see how users in India take up multi-participant streaming, and what Instagram does from there.