Everything you need to know about Instagram live streaming

Anush Sahakyan
4 min readAug 30, 2020


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Nowadays video content has become one of the leading and engaging ones. The latest research found out that people spent eight times longer watching live videos than on-demand.

These days people have a short attention span and consume video information better than texts. Videos are responsive, efficient, and appealing.

Instagram Live is a fantastic way to engage with followers around the world. It doesn’t just allow you to create a broadcast, but it’s also a means to interact with audiences and attract new followers and customers.

Live videos are very important because it allows you to engage with your followers in the real-time. During the live videos, you can communicate with your followers and customers, answer their questions and comments.

The best thing about live streaming to Instagram is that it’s completely free.

Using Instagram live videos and stories is a way to speak directly to followers and drive engagement, leads, and sales.

Note: Live broadcast is limited to one hour, which is similar to Facebook Live. Your Instagram Live will stay on your Instagram Stories for 24 hours for your audience to catch up on.

When you start to go live on IG from your regular phone or computer Instagram will check your internet connection and start a three-second countdown.

If you’re on a PC or Mac, the options to watch Instagram Live on computers is limited. You can watch Instagram Live on PC or Mac by using a Chrome extension. One extension that allows you to view Instagram Live on PC is IG Stories for Instagram.

Regardless of your reasons for setting up a live video, you will run into time limitations on Instagram.

NOTE: Instagram limits users to one hour of uninterrupted live streaming

You can start again immediately but you will be able to record for another 60 minutes. Most users won’t need that long, but depending on the content you’d like to capture such as a conference or meeting, this may cause issues.

You can share a live video to connect with your followers in real-time for up to one hour. Once a live video has ended, it’s no longer visible in the app, unless you share a replay of it to IGTV.

Here are some tips for going LIVE on IG.

Invite your Friends to Join Live videos

Instagram is now letting users broadcast live with a friend. Users can invite anyone who’s currently watching their broadcast to join, although only two people can broadcast simultaneously, which is visualized through a split-screen.

There are 2 ways you can start a live broadcast with a friend on Instagram. You can invite a friend to join your live video or you can ask to join the live video of a friend.

To go live and then invite a friend to join your broadcast:

  1. Tap in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
  2. Tap Live at the bottom of the screen
  3. Tap on a person’s name to invite them to join your live video and tap Add. Keep in mind you can only invite someone who is already viewing your live video.
  4. If your friend accepts the invitation to join, you’ll see them appear in a split-screen view. You’ll also see if they’ve chosen to decline.
  5. You can remove the person you invited to join your live video at any time by tapping x at the top right corner of their split-screen.

To ask to join a friend’s live video that you’re watching:

  1. Tap Request when you see the option to request to join the live video.
  2. Tap Send Request.
  3. You’ll receive a notice that you’re about to join the live video when your request is accepted.

Go live from your desktop

Sometimes the regular phone doesn't nor provide the quality your computer does. On a regular basis, you can go live from your smartphone but if you want to have professional live streaming you should go live from your computer

To have high-quality live videos on IG use YellowDuck .tv.

With this tool, you can instantly create a live stream on Instagram from your Macbook Pro, PC, Linux, and more. Streaming to Instagram is simple, and the set up is almost the same as if you were to stream on any other live video streaming website or service.

It only takes three simple steps to stream Instagram live from a Mac or PC with Yellow Duck:

  • Log into your Instagram account with Yellow Duck
  • Get the Instagram stream key and RTMP URL
  • Copy them quickly into your encoder or streaming service

Use Filters on Instagram LIVE videos

You can spice up your Instagram Live broadcast with Face filters. This feature lets you add accessories, hats, stars, rainbow light, and many other special effects at the top of your face.

Instagram regularly updates their filters, so you’ll never run out of options.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to start a live video on Instagram if you’ve previously posted something that’s been removed for going against Instagram Community Guidelines.



Anush Sahakyan

Digital marketing brand strategist. Allegedly wise to the ways of PR, Digital Marketing and Social Media.