In late 2016, Instagram introduced its live stream feature, which has since become one of the most popular ways for users to interact with their followers. Everyone is using it — from your friends streaming during a concert to celebrities going live to update their fans. So, maybe it’s time that you give it a try as well?
If you’re not well-versed in Instagram, you may not know exactly how to do it, though. That’s why we’ve prepared this short guide that will help you master live streaming in no time.
Before we go explore Instagram live streaming in more depth, we should cover the basics. Here are the steps you need to follow to go live:
- Open your Instagram app on Android or iPhone;
- Tap the + icon in the top right corner of the page. You can also swipe right on the homepage for the same result;
- You will find yourself on a New Post page with several options at the bottom. Swipe all the way left to select Live;
- Now, you will see a camera screen with various icons. Tap the four lines icon in the left sidebar to name your live;
- Once you come up with a good title, tap Add Title to confirm. You can easily remove it by pressing on the four lines icon again;
- Finally, tap the white circle icon at the bottom of the screen to start streaming. Your active followers will receive a notification about your live stream, and you will see their usernames at they start joining;
- When you want to end the live stream, tap the X icon at the top right corner, then click End Now in the pop-up. You’ll be able to see how many people watched your live stream and share it on your profile in the next 24 hours.
Simple, isn’t it? And the more you stream, the easier it will become, so keep going even if your first attempt is a little overwhelming.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s take a look at some of the features for interacting with your audience during a live stream.
Like all other platforms with streaming features, Instagram allows viewers to leave comments in the chat. They will appear at the bottom of the screen, where you can easily read them and talk to your followers.
However, you can also answer viewers’ specific questions if you tap the speech bubble with a question mark icon in the bottom right corner. This feature will give you a quick overview of the topics your watchers are interested in.
In addition, it’s possible to invite guests to your live stream. To do that, tap the person with an arrow icon in the bottom sidebar. You can then search for a specific username or browse through your viewers until you find the user you are looking for. Then, tap Send Request, and the viewer will receive an invitation to join, which they can accept or decline. In either case, you will see their response.
Alternatively, tap the camera with a plus icon in the bottom sidebar to see your join requests. Then, accept the user you want to invite to the live stream.
Finally, for those who want to work on their live streaming skills before putting themselves out there, Instagram has an excellent Practice feature.
Before starting the stream, you can choose your broadcast audience by tapping the eye icon in the left sidebar. If you select Practice, no one will be notified of your stream. You can save your live stream at the end of a session for future reference.
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