Instagram Live
Credit: Image by Instagram

Instagram has now followed Facebook in allowing users to broadcast a two-person livestream, enabling two account holders on the social platform to go live in one feed.

Live video was introduced on the app last November, but the update announced yesterday (24 October) may be a game-changer for news organisations looking to conduct video interviews with people based remotely or out in the field, all while enjoying the live audience engagement that Instagram brings.

Publishers will have their own followers as potential viewers, plus the followers of their interviewee's account, enabling them to reach more people.

Journalists may find this update useful for commentating on breaking news events, giving followers the option to watch what is happening at a protest or public event, all while a reporter in the newsroom is giving live updates on camera.

It's simple to use on both iOS and Android devices, and takes no time at all to set up, but remember – live video on social media is still a new form of journalism, so it's worth preparing your newsroom and reporters before you jump into it.

To get started, you and the person you would like to livestream with will need to have the latest Instagram updates installed.

In the app's homepage, tap the blue 'plus' button to open your camera, in the same way you would normally add to your Instagram Story. Swipe right at the bottom of the screen to activate Live on Instagram, and start your live video by tapping the large white button.

Once you have begun your live stream and you're ready to bring your guest in, add them by tapping the dual-face icon on the bottom right of the screen. They will have to be watching the livestream already in order to be invited to join. As soon as they have accepted, the screen will split in two, showing your video above theirs.

For followers looking to tune in, the dual livestream will appear as two Instagram profiles paired together in the app's overhead stories bar. Comments and reactions will appear on screen from followers of both accounts, enabling you to respond to the audience's questions or remarks.

The person who initiated the live stream can remove their guest at anytime, and add others in as they wish – useful if you have multiple interviewees scheduled within the same video.

Once you're done, end the livestream and choose whether or not to save the video. You can post it directly to your stories so that it can be watched later, or download it if you would like to share it elsewhere.

The update is available as part of Instagram version 20.0, available for iOS in the App Store and for Android in Google Play.

Check out the seven issues you should consider before going live from your mobile device.

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