- Access the Your Stories tab
- Where to look to start a live video
- How To Know When Other Users Are Live Streaming
- Adjust video and adjust settings
- Communicate with your viewers
- Pin comment or disable comments
- Finish the video when you’re done
Access the Your Stories tab
Instagram Stories changed the way you use Instagram in August 2016. In late 2016, Stories was expanded to include a live video streaming feature that users could use to connect with their followers in real time.
Where to look to start a live video
You may have noticed that there is no obvious option in the Instagram app to start your own live stream. This is because it is hidden in the camera tab of the stories feature.
To start a live video feed, you have to use Instagram as if you are about to post a story. Tap your own bubble on the left side of the news feed or swipe right anywhere in the app to open the Story Camera tab.
By default, the camera tab is in the setting normal , which you can see at the bottom of the screen below the record button. To switch to live video streaming, swipe right to set it to live †
How To Know When Other Users Are Live Streaming
You can tell someone is using Instagram Live by looking at the little bubbles in the Instagram feed, which sometimes have a pink “Live” icon directly below them. You can click on their bubble to watch them right away.
Adjust video and adjust settings
Once you’ve learned how to activate Instagram Live from the camera tab in the stories feature, you should see a screen with some customization options for your live video. Don’t worry – you’re not alive yet!
Front to back camera switch: click the two arrow icon to switch to the camera you want to use.
Tell your followers what your video is about. Click to enter a short description that can be included in the notification sent to your followers when you start showing.
Scene Settings † Click the gear icon in the top left corner to adjust the story settings, which also apply to live video. You can hide your stories/live video from certain people and choose who you want to be able to reply to your stories/live video with a direct message.
When you’re ready to get started, click the button Start live video † This will start a live stream of your video and show you in your followers’ feeds with a small ‘Live’ icon below your bubble.
Communicate with your viewers
When you start a live video on Instagram, your followers may receive notifications asking them to tune in. Once your followers start setting up, you will notice a number of things appearing on the screen.
Number of viewers † This is displayed in the top right corner of the screen next to the eye icon, which shows the number of people you are currently following.
Comments † Viewers can post live comments on your video using the comment box that appears at the bottom of the screen.
Loves † A heart button will appear in the lower right corner of the screen, which viewers can press to express their approval of the live video. You will see the heart animation in real time when the viewers like it.
Pin comment or disable comments
Not only can you talk directly to your viewers through the video, but you can also leave a comment on your own video and then pin it to the screen for all viewers to see as much as possible. This is a useful feature if you have a live video that focuses on a specific topic or issue.
To add a comment, simply enter your comment in the comment box, post it and then click on the comment you posted. A menu will appear at the bottom of the screen with the option Pin comment which you can click to pin the comment.
You can also disable comments so that no one can comment. To do this, just click on the three dots in the lower right corner of the screen and select the option Disable Comments †
Finish the video when you’re done
You can broadcast your live video for up to one hour. The amount of data used while streaming live video will depend on how long you choose to keep your video alive and how strong your signal is, but to save data it’s best to make sure you’re connected to wifi. Fi before you even start your live video.
When you’re ready to say goodbye to your viewers, click End in the top right corner of the screen to stop the live video. From there, you can click “Save” in the top right corner to save it to your camera roll or share it to your story.
Once your video is ready, you’ll be shown the total viewership so you know how many people are tuned in over the course of your live video. Keep in mind that if your profile is public, anyone can tune in to your live video, not just your followers, as your live video may appear in the suggested live videos to watch in the Discover tab.