A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Instagram Live

April 22, 2020

Step 1: Open the Story Camera
Instagram Live is a feature within Stories.

To access the Story camera, tap the camera icon in the top left of the screen OR swipe right.

The first time that you use Instagram Stories, you’ll need to enable your phone’s camera and microphone access.

Step 2: Select Instagram Live
The Instagram Story camera allows you to create and share seven different types of content.

  • Live
  • Create
  • Normal
  • Boomerang
  • Layout
  • Superzoom
  • Hands-free

Use the sliding menu at the bottom of the screen to select “Live.”

Step 3: Configure Your Instagram Story Settings
Before you go live, you’ll want to check your Instagram Story settings. To do this, tap the settings gear icon at the top left of the screen. Here, you’ll see Instagram’s “Story Controls.”

The first setting allows you to hide your Stories from specific people, and underneath, you can choose who can reply to your Story.

As a business, you’ll want to make sure that replies can be sent by everyone, as this will allow you to better interact with your audience.

Next, Instagram lets you automatically save your Stories to your camera roll or your Instagram archive.

If you don’t want to use up valuable phone space, just turn on the archive feature and you’ll be able to view your Stories in the archive when they disappear after 24 hours.

The last feature allows you to automatically share Instagram Stories to your Facebook Business page.

Take advantage of this opportunity to engage your Facebook followers without having to create more content on Facebook Stories.


Step 4: Go Live on Instagram!
Tap “Start Live Video” and Instagram will notify your followers that you’re live. To double-check that you’re live, look for the “Live” icon in the top-left corner of the screen.

If you’d like to check how long you’ve been live, just tap the “Live” icon and it will show you the timer.

Step 5: Switch Between Camera Views
Today, nearly all smartphones are equipped with both front-facing and rear-facing cameras.

Instagram Live allows you to switch between these cameras while you’re live – just like you would on a video call with a friend.

To switch between your front and rear camera, click on the switch camera icon on the bottom right of the screen:

Step 6: Go Live with Another Account
Instagram has a “Go Live with a Friend” feature. It enables you to add another Instagram account to your broadcast.

To go live with another account, tap the icon featuring two smiley faces and select who you’d like to go live with. Then tap “Add.”

The other user will receive a notification telling them that you want them to be in your live video. They can then tap “Go Live with @yourusername” or decline the invitation.

Plus, if any of your viewers want to join your Instagram Live video, they can hit the “Request” button in the comments section.

When this happens, you’ll see a notification for each request in the comments section.

Simply tap “View” and then accept or decline the request. If you accept, you’ll have a moment to prepare before the screen is split in half and you are live together.

The icon with two smiley faces will also have a red number showing how many requests you have.

Just tap the icon to see both requests and current viewers. Here, you can either accept a viewer’s request or invite a viewer to join you.

Step 7: Interact with Comments
Instagram Live streams are all about connecting, engaging, and relating to your audience in real-time.

So, don’t forget to interact in the comments.

If possible, have someone dedicated to answering comments during the broadcast. If this isn’t possible, you can still ask viewers to submit questions and answer them as you go along.

And don’t forget to address commenters and thank some individual viewers by name for joining the stream.

Step 8: End Your Instagram Live Video
Before you go, be sure to thank viewers for tuning in.

When you’re ready, just tap “End” to finish your Instagram Live video.

Step 9: Save and Share Your Instagram Live Video
Once you’ve finished your broadcast, you can save your Instagram Live video to your phone’s camera roll by tapping the “Save” icon.

Keep in mind that only the video is saved, and not interactions like comments, likes, and views.

Next, tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen to add your Instagram Live video to your Story so users can view it for 24 hours.

If you don’t want to share your Instagram Live video to your Story, just tap “Discard,” and your live video will disappear from the app.

Once you’ve shared your Instagram Live video to your Story, followers will see the “Play” icon added to your Story image.

Then, they can tap your Story to watch the video and see comments and likes from the original broadcast.

Lastly, when watching your own replay, the number of viewers shown will include everyone who saw it live and in Stories.

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Category: Business