Instagram Adds Live Streams for Close Friends Only

Instagram's looking to double-down on more intimate group chats in the app, with the addition of Close on Instagram Live, which will enable users to live with up to three other people in a private video session.

Well, private in that it will only be viewable by those on your list.

As you can see in this example, now, you'll be able to broadcast to your Close Friends only, and invite others on your Close Friends list to co-host or join the stream. Which will also expand your audience to their Close Friends as well, but essentially, it's a live video option for smaller groups, which could help to facilitate connection in the app.

Live video has become a key connector for younger users, as reflected in the popularity of D.M. video chats, TikTok Live, and even Omegle (before it shut down late last year). Houseparty was another popular live chat app, with the increasing capacity of online video connection enabling teens to maintain connection and community, even when they're at home.

Close Friends on live aims to tap into the same, providing another way for Instagram users to connect in the app, and maintain community, within more close knit groups.

As with social media more broadly, Instagram has seen a marked shift in in-app engagement towards more private sharing, primarily via D.M.s. Instagram's also seen significant interest in its inbox Notes feature, which enables users to leave prompts for their connections to reply to at the top of their inbox.

Notes has been especially popular with younger users, a group that Instagram is desperately keen to keep engaged in the app, which is why it continues to add new elements for Notes, to further stoke that element.

Close Friends on Live is another element along the same path, providing more ways for users, primarily younger audiences, to interact and connect in the app.

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