It appears that Instagram is testing out a new feature to let users watch live streams on its web platform.
Up until now, users have only been able to view Instagram live streams on the mobile app. There hasn’t been an official announcement from Instagram yet, as the company could probably be testing out the feature right now.
This wouldn’t be unlikely since Instagram tested out web DMs for a while before making an official announcement. I was able to test out the feature on my account, and the web experience of watching live streams is similar to that of the mobile app.
The web platform takes advantage of the extra screen space by displaying live comments on the side. On the mobile app, comments usually take up half of the screen, which can be annoying.
It should be noted that you can’t start a live stream from the web platform, and that the feature only allows users to view them.
This is the perfect time for Instagram to roll this out worldwide since people are self-isolating at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous musicians and celebrities are doing frequent live concerts or chats with fans on Instagram, and it would be handy for people to be able to view them on the web platform.
It would also make sense to roll it out the functionality now since people are likely using their desktops more frequently than their phones.