With COVID-19 lockdowns, live-streaming option has become popular among Insta users.
People have also been using the Video chat app Zoom where they can chat with multiple people at a time. Another app that has gained popularity during this time is Houseparty, which allows one to share their photos and videos in the app with up to six people at a time through video chat.
And recently, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said in an online Q and A that Insta is considering to allow more people to go live together with Instagram Live.
"Right now you can only go live with one other person at a time, we're looking into if we could expand that, but it's not clear that that is the most pressing thing that we can add to Live, versus just getting stability up, adding more features, making it available on web, etcetera," said Mosseri.
If Instagram could add the Instagram Live feature to web it could see a massive increase in usage, but enabling multi-participant streaming via Instagram Live would serve beneficial to users itself.
But we don't know for sure if this feature would even see the light of the day, given the fact that multi-participant streaming is expensive when it comes to video transfer rates and data load which as a result leads to increasing demads on the hosting systems. Due to this, many streaming apps eventually ended up getting shut down. The whole process of multi-streaming to a huge audience would be quite costly for Instagram and there is no surprise there.
If you consider video chatting, it is limited to a smaller audience and there is no outside viewing hence no complexity or huge costs compared to Live Streams.
Facebook had also introduced a live streaming option with guests last year which it took down, and increased complexity and cost is likely to be the reason.
"We're committed to building a truly social video experience on Facebook, and we're constantly evaluating the set of features we offer to the community. It's important that we prioritize and focus on experiences that drive the most value for the community."
This gives us a hint that it was an expensive option and with no significant usage, Facebook couldn't bear it.
This would mean that Instagram might not facilitate more guests in one stream at a time, but with the way things are right now, it appears to be worth an experiment.
If Instagram rolls this option out, it is expected to become popular in no time. Moreover, Instagram Live option for web would also be a great addition.
There is no exact date of when Instagram will release these options, but we can expect to see one of them in the next few weeks.