Meta’s Instagram offers a way to broadcast live to smaller, carefully selected private audiences.

Instagram Live has been a feature for a long time now, but a new feature is gradually being rolled out to allow users to broadcast live to a smaller, more private audience. These live streams will only be available to your curated Close Friends list. Until now, Close Friends content has been reserved for Stories, but it will now expand to include these live streams.

Up to three other accounts will be able to join the live stream and broadcast alongside the original user. The feature will be available globally in a gradual rollout.

What’s new in the live broadcast?

Until now, the live stream was still available for anyone to watch and watch. If your account is public, this includes people who haven’t followed you.

They have been commonly used by influencers and celebrities to chat with followers in real time. The ability to choose to live with only close friends is likely part of a push to get casual users to make the most of the feature, rather than content geared toward broader audiences.

It’s more like a massive video call, with the constant ability to talk to people via a swipeable chat feature. Photos shared by Instagram show how Close Friends Live shows people sharing parties, study sessions, or other more intimate events, rather than the formal broadcasts we may be used to.

This is in line with Instagram reporting more examples of private use cases on the platform, such as increased use of direct messaging. In November, the social media platform made network posts visible only to close friends, followed by the ability to mute interactions with anyone but close friends in May. This push for a more curated online experience is echoed through the popularity of authenticity-focused social media platforms such as be realistic.

Featured image: Instagram

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