“Going live” on Instagram refers to starting a live-streamed video on an Instagram story. Instagram live allows for more direct interaction, as it gives a live look into your day. Users who go live can also respond to comments as they come in, making this a great tool to improve engagement or share news on Instagram.
Instagram live was originally introduced in 2017, but in the two years since its inception it has grown in both popularity and available features. We’ll break down the basics of how to use Instagram live, as well as the latest features and the best practices to use this live-streaming tool on Instagram.
How To Go Live on Instagram
Starting a live video on Instagram is actually quite simple.
Follow these steps to go live on Instagram:
- Press the camera icon in the top left corner of your home screen on Instagram, or swipe right from anywhere on your Instagram feed.
- Tap “Live” from the options across the bottom of the screen.
- Tap “Go Live” when you are ready to begin your video.
- When you’re done, tap “End” in the top right corner and then tap to confirm.
- Tap “Save” in the top right to save the live video to your camera roll, or to share it to your story.
The number of viewers during your Insta live video will appear at the top of the screen.
Comments will pop up at the bottom. You can disable commenting by tapping the “…” and selecting “Turn Off Commenting”. You can tap “Comment” to leave your own comment. You can also pin your own comment or someone else’s to the top so that viewers can see it first. To pin a comment, simply tap the comment and select “Pin Comment”.
You can also use face filters while live streaming. Next to the comment field, tap the smiley face button with three dots to try out instagram’s various filters while you record.
How To Go Live With a Friend on Instagram
One of the more recent added features to Instagram live is the ability to go live with another user. With this feature, you can split the screen to share a live video. You can go live with a friend through two methods: either inviting them to join your live video, or asking to join theirs.
To invite a friend to join your live stream, they must be watching the Instagram live video first. Simply start an Instagram live video like you normally would, and then tap the icon of two smiley faces overlapping ( ). Tap the name you want to invite, and if they accept then your screen will split to show both of you. If they decline, you’ll receive a notification.
To join a friend’s live video, either wait for them to invite you, or request to join. You can request to join their live stream by watching it and tapping “Request” > “Send Request”. If they accept, you’ll be notified that you are about to join their live video.
How To View Someone Else’s Instagram Live
Very often, you’ll receive a notification when someone you follow begins a live video. Click this notification to begin viewing their Instagram live stream.
You can also view live videos in the same fashion that you view Instagram stories. If someone you follow is live, their profile picture will appear first on the bar up top that shows Instagram stories, with the same colorful ring around it and the word “LIVE”. Tap their profile picture to begin streaming their Instagram live video.
Once you’re watching the video, you can like it or comment. The person live streaming will see that you have tuned in and if you like or comment, and if commenting is turned on then other viewers may also see your comments.
Tips To Make The Most of Instagram Live
Now that you know how to go live on Instagram, you may be wondering what kind of video you should share or how you can make the most of your live stream.
Instagram live is often used to showcase behind-the-scenes video, to talk directly to followers as they comment, or to share a more authentic, less curated video. Instagram live is a great place to share more inclusive information, let followers or customers know about news, or really do anything you want – it’s up to you.
Your live video should, of course, still follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines – don’t live stream anything inappropriate, offensive, or anything that may break those guidelines, or you may be reported on Instagram.
Here are a few tips to make the most out of your Instagram live video, whatever you may choose to do with it:
Announce Your Live Stream Ahead of Time
Share via a post or Instagram story that you’ll be going live at a specified time. This way, followers, friends, fans, or customers can prepare ahead of time to tune in. Announcing a live video ahead of time can increase the number of people watching and improve engagement.
Test Your Camera and Setting
Before you go live, take a test video in the place where you plan to record. This will help you test the lighting, angle, background, and ensure that your phone’s camera is in good shape. You should also make sure that your phone is charged so that it doesn’t die mid-live stream.
Plan Your Instagram Live Script
You don’t have to have a carefully worded script, but make sure you know what you’re doing before you start live streaming. You don’t want viewers to be bored or confused if you’re awkwardly fumbling through a video because you did not prepare. Make sure you have a general idea of what you want to say or do before you go live.
Give Your Video a Title
Many viewers may tune in halfway through or at any point during your live stream. If you’re mid sentence, they may be confused as to what you’re talking about. Giving your video a title or sharing some kind of information as to what the point of your video is about can help give context to those who miss your introduction.
This is where the pinned comment feature comes in handy – you can write a comment giving the video a title or sharing general context and pin it, so it’s the first comment viewers see when they start streaming.
Save It As a Story
Once you end your Instagram live video, save it as a story. This way, more people can watch who weren’t online when it was live. You can also save the video to your camera roll and, depending on the length, share it as a post.
Instagram live is a great tool to share information and engage directly with followers. Use Instagram live to grow your following online.
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