It’s been just over a year since Instagram gave us the ability to go live, but it already seems like an integral part of the social media platform. Similar to streaming on Facebook or Twitter, going live on Instagram is a great way to connect with followers in real time and document your life as it’s happening.
While going live on Instagram sounds like something that could be an involved process, it is actually very easy.
Step 1: Log in to Instagram on your mobile device
While you can use the desktop version of Instagram to look at and comment on photos, you can only go live from the mobile app. If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you can create one within the app or through Instagram’s website. (See our ultimate guide to using Instagram to help get you up and running.)
Step 2: Navigate to the camera
From the home page, tap the camera icon in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in your Feed. (This is the same camera you use to add photos to your story.)
Step 3: Start your live video
Once in the camera, swipe along the menu at the bottom of the screen until you get to Live. This menu is also where you’ll find options to add different filters to your photos, as well as the iconic Boomerang feature. Once you reach Live, the button at the bottom of the screen will display Start Live Video.”Tap it when you’re ready.
Step 4: Live-streaming
After a quick connection test that will occur automatically, you’ll be live! Instagram will send a notification to some of your followers, letting them know you’ve started a live video. The number of viewers and comments will appear at the bottom of the screen.
If you’d like to add a comment, tap Comment, type your message, and press Post. Tapping and holding a comment will allow you to pin it to the top so viewers can see it more easily. To turn off comments, tap the three dots to the right of Comment and select Turn Off Commenting. If you have any keyword filters turned on, those will apply here as well.
Step 5: Ending your live-stream
Once you’re done recording, tap End in the upper right and hit End Live Video. An opaque screen will appear over your camera feed, letting you know your live video has ended. From there, you can hit save in the upper-right corner to save the video to your camera roll, or share it to your story. If you don’t select either of these options, the video will disappear after you click away.
How do you view someone else’s live videos?
To view someone else’s live video, tap their profile picture on the top of your Feed. Their picture will appear with a colorful ring around it and the word Live if they have a live video. Keep in mind that anyone else viewing the video can see when you join and when you comment or like the video.
If someone has shared a live video replay to their story, you’ll see their profile picture at the top of your Feed with a ring around it and the play button. You can’t comment on a live video replay, but you can respond to someone’s replay by direct messaging them.
While viewing someone’s live video replay, you can tap the right side of the screen to skip forward or the left to go back. If they shared multiple replays, you can skip between them by tapping the arrows at the top of the screen.
Live-streaming on Instagram is a great way to interact and connect with people. It’s more fun and informal than a posed Instagram photo and super-easy to implement. Happy streaming!