With live video streaming now a standard feature on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it was only a matter of time before Instagram joined in. CEO Kevin Systrom has now told the Financial Times (via Engadget) that it will be adding live streaming to the app.

Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing. If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.

The feature first leaked on Russian site T Journal when a reader noticed a non-functional icon appearing in an update, seemingly by mistake …

The icon, marked Live, appeared alongside a row of Instagram Stories. Broadcasting appears set to be activated by selecting the option from the camera screen.

As well as bringing a sense of immediacy to sharing experiences with family and friends, live broadcasting has also proven a valuable tool for citizen journalism and providing a degree of reassurance to those who find themselves in threatening situations.

Systrom gave no indication of when the feature will be added to the app, but it looks set to appear sooner rather than later.

An Instagram update just yesterday added a built-in Boomerang mode – stitching together a burst of photos into a video – as well as mentions within Stories. Previous updates added recommended Stories, the ability to save drafts and pinch-to-zoom.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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