Following reports of Instagram testing a live video feature in Russia, the company’s CEO confirmed its intentions to the Financial Times.
“Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing,” Systrom told the publication. “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 get into specifics on how the feature might be implemented, but in an article from Russian news site T Journal revealed screenshots of the feature when it was purportedly being tested in the country. The images show the feature as being part of Instagram’s Stories carousel, an element widely regarded as a Snapchat clone. Overtop one user’s Stories thumbnail is a bright red “LIVE” tag indicating the user is livestreaming. On the user side, there are screenshots of a “Go Insta!” button overlaying the camera’s view.
The addition of live video is unsurprising considering Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, is placing ever more significant importance on the medium in its move towards immersive experiences, which also includes a focus on VR.