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Instagram appears to be testing live video

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All live everything all the time

Facebook's all-out embrace of live video appears to be heading to Instagram. A new report from a Russian news site shows live functionality embedded into Instagram stories, with a bold "LIVE" banner on what is apparently a live video appearing at the front of the stories feed. The report from T Journal also shows the user interface for going live from Instagram, which includes a giant red button reading "Go Insta!"

Instagram declined to comment. Tech sources have been telling me for more than a year that Instagram would add live video eventually. Facebook believes that fully immersive live experiences are the future — it's one of the reasons the company is investing so heavily in virtual reality — and it sees live video as a bridge to get there. Live video is also a way to attract spending from the lucrative television advertising market, which Facebook is working very hard to crack.

instagram live

Instagram's addition of Snapchat-style stories to the app this summer appears to have given the company a convenient place inside the product to place the new format. Looking at the screenshots posted to T Journal, it's easy to imagine opening Instagram and browsing a series of live channels to see what they're broadcasting at any given moment. According to a Google translation of the T Journal article, clicking the icon in the screenshot above took the user to a page of "popular live broadcasts," which returned an error.

instagram live

The report said a user discovered the live button while running the beta version of Instagram on Android.

Update, 6:36 p.m.: Updated to note that Instagram declined to comment.