Instagram has been steadily beefing up its Direct Messaging feature in recent months, as it has begun to toy with the idea of spinning out messaging into its own, separate app. Among its more recent tweaks was last month’s added option for photo and video message replays, and earlier enhancementslike support for web links and different photo orientations. Today, it’s rolling out another change — users can now privately send live videos over Direct Messaging.
This includes your own live video, the company says, or you can share a live video you’re currently watching with a friend or group of friends.
When you’re live on Instagram, you can take advantage of the new option by tapping the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen. The company notes that your self-recorded live videos can only be viewed by friends when you’re currently live. While live, viewers can comment and react, but if they arrive too late, they’ll only see a message that the video is over.
For live videos you want to co-watch with friends, the process is the same — you tap the Direct icon to share the video through messaging.
If you don’t want to participate, you can choose to disable live video sharing in Direct via your Stories settings, Instagram says. And if you have a Private account, you can only share live videos with your followers.
The live video sharing feature is rolling out now to Instagram on iOS and Android through a software update — you’ll need to download the latest version (ver. 26) of the app to use the feature.