Instagram is still testing a share button, but there is a new live-sharing option

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Panithan Fakseemuang / 123RF

Have an interesting live-stream? Instagram is making it easier to send that live video to friends with the launch of live sharing inside Direct messages. The tool follows Instagram’s addition of a shortcut for posting comments one tap faster.

Now, when creators are live on Instagram, a direct icon (that paper airplane) allows them to send the live video to a friend or follower. The video will pop up in the messages, but only if that original video is still live. If you don’t catch the message in time, you’ll see a message but won’t be able to replay the video.

The new tool isn’t just limited to the live video’s creator —  viewers can also share the video. When watching a live video, the same direct icon allows you to share with a friend. The new options don’t break privacy settings, so for private accounts, only followers will be able to see the video in their messages. Live hosts can also disable the option, which means viewers won’t even see that Direct share icon.

The update, Instagram says, is designed to encourage conversation among friends over live content, as well as make it possible to share the video. The video can be shared in group messages as well — and the tool still works when two or more users go live together.

The new Direct feature is already inside the latest Instagram update for both iOS and Android, but there’s another more subtle feature Instagram fans may notice. Now, users don’t have to tap on the post to start writing a comment. The app will now detect when you’re looking at a photo longer than normal and the comment field will pop up, saving you a tap and allowing you to start typing the message right away.

Users on iOS have had access to the quicker comment shortcut for about a month, while Android users are just now starting to see the change with an app update.

The updates come as Instagram continues to test a handful of different features, including a share button and a separate app for Direct messages, and after officially launching the ability to follow hashtags on the photo-focused network.