April 29, 2020Published by: Steph Bennett

Going Live! How Instagram’s most underused feature found its purpose

As the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ swept across the world in March, the shift from Stories to Live broadcasts on Instagram happened literally overnight. 

Businesses, influencers, creators and fans, all stuck in their homes but with something to share, started using the Live function like never before. According to Instagram, the platform has seen a 70% increase in live streaming and has become a focal point of the network. Here you will get a best kicksta review which is useful in the traffic boosting in instagram.

Finding purpose
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Instagram users divert their attention from polished poses on their main feed to ephemeral real-life moments in their Stories, but when life as we know it transformed last month, so too did the way we use and consume Live content. 

Until now Live had been largely overlooked, never really gaining the traction its creators had anticipated. But at this pivotal moment, it has suddenly found its purpose. 

For some, Live is a new way to operate their business: gyms, teachers and coaches have acted fast to maintain clients, while musicians and actors have looked to maintain momentum and engagement with their fanbase. For others, such as influencers and extroverts, the format has provided an outlet to keep their fans and followers engaged and generate human connection in more than just a like, comment or share.

Alone, together
As an extrovert who lives alone, I’ve found that Instagram Live has been a lifeline to reconnect with friends and colleagues around the world. I’m also broadcasting daily with a wide range of people from yoga teachers to sommeliers, and business owners to music fans. I've found the experience to be uplifting and educational. 

From a technical standpoint it’s much easier than you might think. There are, however, a few essential tips I want to share. If you or your business are looking to enter the world of Live broadcasting, here are some essential tips to get ready for action.

Getting started

  • Apps: Live Instagram broadcasts can only be done on your smartphone or tablet apps. There’s no desktop option right now, but hopefully this will change in the near future.
  • Props: if you can, use a tripod or an alternative (e.g. books) to prop up your phone. This will enable you to be hands-free so you are far enough away to see comments and be seen on screen. 
  • Lighting: make sure you’re in a well-lit setting to ensure it’s easy for viewers to see you and enjoy the broadcast.
  • Audio: headphones with a microphone are best so the sound quality will be consistent throughout. If you choose to hold your phone while broadcasting, try not to cover the in-built microphone with your hand to prevent muffling.
  • Fully charged: make sure your battery is maxed out before you broadcast. That goes for headphones, too, if you’re using bluetooth-enabled devices such as AirPods.
  • Internet: be sure to be in range of a good Wi-Fi connection to avoid lagging. At peak broadcast times you may still find that lagging occurs while Instagram manages the unexpected demand.
  • Avoid interruptions: notifications of any kind on your phone will pause or disrupt the broadcast. Set your phone to ‘Do not disturb mode’. Worth noting that Airplane mode will still allow Wi-Fi calls and messages, and advise friends and family that you’ll be on air so that they’re quiet in the background.

Going live

  • The basics: open your Instagram app, swipe right, and on the menu bar swipe left to ‘Live’. Here you’ll see how many of your followers are currently online; once you push the on-screen button, notifications will be sent to them so they don’t miss the opportunity to view.
  • Live with guests: to invite someone to join you on Live, they will first need to be watching your broadcast. Once you can see they’re viewing, you can send them a request to join; as soon as they accept you’ll both be live together. Guests can leave at any time and you can have multiple guests, one after the other during your broadcast too.
  • Viewers: during a live stream, viewers can ask questions, react and leave comments that appear at the top of the screen. If you want to turn them off simply tap on the dots on the comments box and hit ‘Turn off commenting’.
  • Pinned comment: you may wish to pin a comment at the top of the feed, which gives viewers information about the topic, a call to action, or the question you’re currently answering for example. Simply write a comment, then tap on it for the option to pin it.
  • Ending the broadcast: when you end your video, if you want to keep the broadcast to share with your followers, be sure to press ‘End’ and then ‘Share to Story’. If you press ‘Delete Video’ it will be deleted forever, as Instagram does not archive Live content, only Stories.
  • Adding video and images: while doing a Live broadcast you can show viewers images and video in-screen. Your image will move to a window in the top right-hand corner. Video and images should be pre-recorded/pre-taken as they are accessed from the camera roll. Tap the image icon (bottom left) and it will open your most recent visuals that you can then select to show on screen. To end the sharing of visuals, scroll back to the left to the ‘No Visuals’ icon.

The data

  • During: you can see the total number of active viewers at the top of the screen during your broadcast.
  • Immediately after: once you end the session the total number of people that viewed your Live broadcast will be on screen. although there is no data available yet to show how long any of the viewers stayed to watch. 
  • After 24 hours: if you saved your broadcast and shared it to Stories, you’ll have the opportunity to see how many more people watched your Live broadcast in the 24 hours that follow. Note: 24 hours and 1 second later the data is gone forever, so make sure to check it a minute or two before it goes if you want to see exactly how many people your Live broadcast reached.

Whether you’re an avid consumer of great live content, a live broadcaster, or an interview host on Instagram, it’s an exciting place to play right now. It demonstrates how agile, adaptable, and important social media can be when it comes to keeping us all connected.

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