Instagram live videos can be sent as direct messages

Let your friends know you're on the air.

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It's easy to start a live Instagram video, but how do your friends know you're broadcasting if they don't catch the usual alert? As of now, you can ping them yourself. Instagram has added the option to send live videos as direct messages, so you can ensure pals tune in when you're livestreaming your vacation. You can also send a video as a viewer if there's a must-see stream. This only works while videos are live, we'd note, so recipients will have to check replays like everyone else.

The feature is available today for both Android and iOS users. It's not going to make a dramatic impact, but it could be a big help for personal streaming where you only expect a handful of people to watch. And that's the point, really -- Instagram wants the feature to be widely used by everyone, not just celebrities who can expect hundreds or thousands of viewers as a matter of course.

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Instagram live videos can be sent as direct messages