Exploring Instagram Live


By: Jason Heath


With over 600 million monthly users, Instagram shows no signs of slowing down. In Part 1, we examined Instagram Stories and today’s installment will dive into Instagram Live; you’ll learn all about what it is and how organizations are finding creative ways of using this new feature.

Instagram Live: A Primer

At the end of 2016, Instagram began rolling out Instagram Live to the general public. Taking the ephemeral spirit of Instagram Stories to an even greater extreme, Instagram Live videos disappear the moment the broadcast ends. While Instagram Live is still a new feature and will surely continue to evolve, this content currently vanishes forever at the conclusion of a broadcast.

exploring instagram live

Like Instagram Stories, broadcasting on Instagram Live is initiated with the same camera button in the upper-left corner of the app. Slide the indicator to Live, share a short sentence about what the broadcast will cover, and press the button to go live.

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There is an indicator showing current number of viewers. Unlike Stories, this number is seen by anyone watching the broadcast. As with Facebook Live, Instagram currently heavily promotes anyone going live, so if your followers are in the app when you go live, they are likely to be notified.

Since Instagram Live broadcasts disappear upon conclusion, they have more limited use than Facebook Live videos, which can be watched later. Possible uses of Instagram Live include:

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  • Backstage coverage at an event
  • Touring the offices
  • Doing a live Q&A
  • Making an announcement

As with any live content, Instagram Live is great for developing a deeper connection with followers. Both Instagram Live and Stories are great complements to traditional Instagram posts. Informal, light-hearted, and spontaneous content works particularly well for both Live and Stories. These new features open up new opportunities for an organization to craft a compelling and engaging story.

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Jason Heath
Jason Heath is the host of Contrabass Conversations, a podcast devoted to exploring music and ideas associated with the double bass. An active double bass performer and teacher, Jason taught double bass at DePaul University for seven years and served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists for many years. Jason was a member of the Elgin Symphony for 16 seasons and performed with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County for over a decade. He is a past member of the Milwaukee Ballet and IRIS Orchestra, and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.
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