- Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed with the Financial Times that live video is coming to the platform, according to Variety.
- Systrom didn't mention how or when live streaming will be integrated with Instagram. Instagram parent Facebook has made live a priority in users' news feeds and on mobile this year, and recently launched APIs for publishers broadcasting through its service.
- It was reported last month that Instagram was testing live video in Russia. Screen grabs from a Russian publication showed a "live" banner and a bold red button in-app saying "Go Insta!," presumably a prompt to start streaming.
Despite the confirmation, live video for Instagram remains a "when" rather than "if" scenario, and will likely become a key component of Stories, the platform's Snapchat-aping service. Stories has proven to be a serious contender in the video messaging space, hitting over a 100 million daily active users in the few months since launch, and recently upping its video and social capabilities.
Now that Instagram plans to provide live video, the question is when competitor Snapchat will follow suit. Snap remains a notable hold out for live in the social video space, and in a way seems the most natural fit for streaming content given its inherently ephemeral nature.
Marketers looking into live should invest in platforms that are the best fit for their brand, and Instagram puts a premium on lifestyle and aesthetics, making it a big draw for retailers in particular. It's also one of the most valued platforms for influencer marketing, with 65% of influencers saying it's the top social media outlet for growth.