What’s better than one solipsistic Instagram celebrity broadcasting live to their followers as they do their laundry or ramble on about Game of Thrones? How about a new Instagram feature that lets two egomaniacs fight for attention as they blather on about nonsense for the amusement of their fans!
Instagram announced on Tuesday that it’s testing a feature that allows two users to go live with a buddy, in case you’re too intimidated to try it by yourself.
The feature is currently testing with “a small percentage” of Instagram users, but it’ll roll out globally over the next few months.
How it works
To add a friend to your livestream, tap the new double-smiley icon on the bottom right corner of the screen, and then select “Add.” You’ll only be able to invite a guest who’s currently watching your live stream, however.
Once they join, the screen will split into two: You can remove your guest and add someone else at any time, or they can always exit on their own.
Viewers can still like and comment on these double streams just like they would on other live broadcasts.
After you’ve finished gabbing about whether or not [GOT conspiracy theory spoiler alert] Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are going to hook up or if that’s icky because they’re blood relatives, you can save the live stream to your Stories feed — where it will live for 24 hours — or discard it.
What you could use it for
Beyond hanging out with your pals in a video chat, we can think of a variety of ways Instagram users could take advantage of this new feature.
• Politicians could stage remote debates or town halls with opponents where they discuss hot-button issues in front of constituents. Though a town hall could get risky for a candidate; randomly picking someone from the audience to join in your live chat could tempt some users to risk violating Instagram’s community standards and pull some chatroulette-style X-rated pranks.
• Celebrities or Instagram influencers might invite their followers to watch them chat with other famous faces — possibly while pushing products at the same time. However, if a reality TV star wanted to go on about tummy flattening tea with their co-star, they’d have to disclose any sponsorships or paid appearances.
• To that end, Instagram could be targeting advertisers with this feature: A reality competition show like American Idol could host post-show split-screen chats between former contestants without having to get them into a studio together, for example.