Home Instagram introduces Live broadcasts for ‘Close Friends’

Instagram introduces Live broadcasts for ‘Close Friends’

tl;dr

  • Instagram is rolling out a feature to livestream to smaller, hand-picked private audiences.
  • Users can stream to a curated list of Close Friends, expanding from Stories to Live broadcasts.
  • Up to three accounts can join the Live broadcast, with a gradual global rollout planned.

Meta’s Instagram is introducing a way to livestream to smaller, hand-picked private audiences.

Going live on Instagram has been a feature for a long while now but a new feature is being gradually rolled out to allow users to stream to a smaller, more private audience. These Live broadcasts will only be available to the curated list of Close Friends. Up until now, content for Close Friends was reserved to Stories but now will expand to include these Live broadcasts.

Up to three other accounts will be able to join the Live broadcast and stream alongside the original user. The feature will be available globally in a gradual rollout.

What’s new in Live broadcasts?

Until now, Live broadcasts were still available for anyone to tune in and watch. If your account was public, that included people who didn’t follow you.

They were most commonly used by influencers and celebrities to chat with followers in real-time. Being able to choose to go to live only with Close Friends is likely part of a push to get everyday users to make the most of the feature, rather than purely for content geared towards wider audiences.

It’s much like a huge video call, with the ongoing ability to talk to people via a scrolling chat feature. The images shared by Instagram showing how Close Friends Live broadcasts show people sharing parties, study sessions, or other more intimate events live, rather than the more formal broadcasts we might be used to.

This is in line with Instagram reporting more private use case examples on the platform, such as increased use of direct messaging. In November, the social media platform made it possible to make grid posts visible only to Close Friends, followed by the ability to mute interactions with anyone but Close Friends in May. This push for a more curated online experience is echoed by the popularity of authenticity-focused social media platforms like BeReal.

Featured image: Instagram

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Rachael Davies
Tech Journalist

Rachael Davies has spent six years reporting on tech and entertainment, writing for publications like the Evening Standard, Huffington Post, Dazed, and more. From niche topics like the latest gaming mods to consumer-faced guides on the latest tech, she puts her MA in Convergent Journalism to work, following avenues guided by a variety of interests. As well as writing, she also has experience in editing as the UK Editor of The Mary Sue , as well as speaking on the important of SEO in journalism at the Student Press Association National Conference. You can find her full portfolio over on…

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