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Instagram Is Now Testing Split-Screen Livestreams: How It Works

9 August 2017, 7:39 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Instagram is planning to roll out a new feature over the next few months that those who like to livestream might find handy. Soon, you’ll be able to start two-person livestream with a friend.  ( Instagram )

Like broadcasting live on Instagram? Good — there's a new feature you might like. The company is now testing shared broadcasts, or the ability to add a friend to a single livestream.

With the feature, if another person is live, you both can choose to go live together in one feed. The whole screen will be split into two. Viewers can still comment or like as they watch the two-person stream.

Instagram Shared Livestreams: How It Works

It's simple, really: just tap the new icon located on the bottom right. It looks like two smiley faces stacked on top of each other. Then, select a friend to add to your livestream and that's basically it. You can now do whatever it is you usually do during a live broadcast.

Once the broadcast ends, you can share the video as a story or discard it, just like with normal livestreams.

"Since introducing live video in November, millions of people have used it to connect with friends and followers in an authentic way," said Instagram. "Now, you can have even more fun connecting with people in the moment."

When Will It Be Released?

Having added a similar feature to Facebook Live back in May, it only makes sense that it's also coming to Instagram, which Facebook owns. Instagram says it's currently testing the new feature with a small percentage of its community, and it plans to roll it out globally over the next few months.

Instagram hasn't said if it plans to expand the feature to add other participants in a stream, although it could happen. The idea of a two-person stream at least signals Instagram's commitment to making the photo-sharing app more social. It can also boost the app's collaboration component, since other people who might be shy about starting their own stream can join another's and lessen the initial stage fright, so to speak.

Possible Uses For The New Feature

The new feature will also be useful for celebrity accounts since they can use it to start livestreams featuring other celebrities. Musicians, too, can use it to livestream collaborative performances. The possibilities are endless.

In recent months, Instagram has evolved from being a plain photo-sharing service into a much more complex social experience. In huge part, this is because of Facebook's continued addition of Snapchat-like features, including Stories and the ability to add filters or stickers. It's a blow to Snap Inc.'s business more than anything, seeing as how Instagram has more people using Stories than Snapchat.

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