Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Live

All around the world video has changed the way businesses, brands and creators connect with their audience.

More and more people are quickly realising the powerful effects that video can have – particularly live video. Live video gives brands an exciting new way to create an organic connection with their customers by delivering fast, immersive and fun content.

Here is everything you need to know about Instagram Live.

IG Live

Image: Buffer Blog

Benefits of Using Instagram Live

Live Video is a Priority

It’s no secret that Instagram is one of the most popular platforms in the world. Every day users ‘like’ 4.2 billion posts – that’s some serious engagement!

But with so much content being posted, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be seen.

The Instagram algorithm places your live video at the top of your followers’ feed. This is REALLY important as users don’t see 70% of what’s on their feed.


Instagram Live gives your customers an opportunity to connect with you in real-time. It’s a great chance for users to ask you about a product or service and get an answer on the spot. The more time you spend building authentic relationships with your followers, the more you will be rewarded.

How to use Instagram Live

Instagram Live is super easy to use, so let’s break it down.

To begin, open the Instagram app and tap the camera icon, located at the top left of the screen.

Along the bottom of the page you will have a range of options to choose from:

  • Hands-free
  • Rewind
  • Focus
  • Superzoom
  • Boomerang
  • Normal
  • Live
  • Music
  • Type

Scroll along until you find “Live”.

Access Insta Live

Once selected, a large white button will appear that says – “Start Live Video”.

Before you begin it’s important to set up video preferences.

To access Live Video preferences click the settings icon at the top left of the screen.

You have the option to:

  • Hide your Live video from different people
  • Allow message replies
  • Save to archive
  • Save to gallery
  • Allow sharing
  • Share your story to Facebook
  • Allow highlights resharing

Instagram Live Video Settings

Once you have your settings in place, you are ready to go Live.

Instagram will then begin a three-second countdown until you are Live.

Start Live Video

Once Live, your friends and followers who are online will be notified that you’re Live with the caption:

“[Username] has started a live video. Watch it before it ends!”


How to Find Instagram Live Videos

On the Stories bar at the top of your feed, Instagram displays the people you follow in circle avatars.

If someone is currently live the word “Live” will be displayed at the bottom of their avatar.

If someone was previously Live and the video is now saved to their Story, you will see a play icon.

Find Instagram Live Videos

Get Creative

You can make things interesting for your viewers by adding Face filters.

To use a Face Filter, select the smiley face in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

You can do this at any point during your Live video stream.


Instagram face filters

Image: Schedugram

Finishing your Live Video

When you are ready to end your video click on the ‘end’ button at the top right of the screen.

Instagram will then display how many viewers your video had. You will also have the option to share your video for the next 24 hours to your story.


end live video live viewers

Image: Schedugram

Things to Consider

  • Make sure you have a plan before you go Live.
  • Promote your Live Video in advance 
  • Promote your video in Stories (will you need to add links?)
  • Engage with your followers (don’t just talk, listen to what they are saying)
  • Test your video first (film your environment for light and sound on your camera phone)
  • If you share your Live video to your story make sure you respond to any DMs that get sent to you
  • Recap your Live Video with an Instagram post
  • Encourage loyal viewers with rewards

Do you use Instagram Live? How do you think it compares to other social media platforms? Let us know in the comments.

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Sean Huxley

Sean graduated from Murdoch University in 2017 and went from intern to Account Manager with Coffey & Tea. He also contributes to Social Media Perth.


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