Facing intense competition from other live streaming apps, Instagram has added a new feature to help them stand out: guest broadcasting.
The feature allows live streamers to invite a second person from their audience to join split-screen, by clicking a small “add” button in the corner of the app. Once the invited user accepts, they’ll appear for everyone to see. The primary broadcaster can choose to remove the guest and invite someone else at any point.
Guest broadcasting was an obvious next step for Instagram in growing their live product. Interacting with another person on-screen makes the process feel more natural for the casual user. Live broadcast notifications around the platform are also sent out to the followers of a guest broadcaster, opening up the potential for a much larger audience pool.
Friends who are using the guest feature will have both users’ profile pictures stacked in the Stories status bar. As with standard live broadcasts, once a stream is over, the primary user can opt to delete the stream or save it to their Story, which can then be shared to Facebook.
Time spent viewing video on Instagram is up 80 pecent year-over-year, according to numbers released last month, and the platform currently touts 800 million monthly active users. Six months ago, Instagram Stories passed Snapchat in daily active users.