Instagram has confirmed that it’s working on adding a live video feature to its app. CEO Kevin Systrom discussed the company’s live video ambitions in an interview with the Financial Times today. This comes just a few weeks after we got our first glimpse of the feature being tested thanks to Russian news site T Journal.
“Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing,” Systrom is quoted as saying. “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.”
Systrom didn’t offer any details on when the live video feature might be available, or exactly how it will work. Based on the screenshots in the T Journal report, though, it appears that live streams from people you follow on Instagram will appear highlighted in red at the top of the app in the “stories” carousel.
Instagram added those 24-hour Snapchat-style stories back in August, and at the time it was a big moment in the ongoing arms race of features that’s happening between visual media apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube. But live video figures to play an increasingly important role in that arms race going forward. Facebook is extremely bullish on the concept, and the company boasts that its users watch live videos more often and for longer periods of time than non-live videos. So it’s no surprise that Instagram — which was bought by Facebook in 2012 — will soon offer live video as well.