Skip to main content

How to livestream on Instagram

Instagram livestreaming is an integral part of the social media platform. Similar to streaming on Facebook or Twitter, going Instagram Live is a great way to connect with followers in real time and document your life as it’s happening. While going live on Instagram sounds like something that could be an involved process, it is actually very easy.

Woman making an Instagram Live video
Daria Shevtsova/Pexels

Step 1: Log in to Instagram on your mobile device

While you can use the desktop version of Instagram to look at and comment on photos, you can only go live from the mobile app. If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you can create one within the app or through Instagram’s website. (See our ultimate guide to using Instagram to help get you up and running.)

Step 2: Navigate to the camera

From the home page, tap the camera icon in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in your feed. (This is the same camera you use to add photos to your story.)

Step 3: Start your live video

Live streaming on Instagram
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Once in the camera, swipe along the menu below the camera button until you get to Live. This menu is also where you’ll find the Story options. Along the left edge of the screen, you will see options to add a title to your video or make the video into a fundraiser. When you’re ready to start your livestream, tap the camera button.

Step 4: Livestreaming

After a quick connection test that will occur automatically, you’ll be live! Instagram will send a notification to some of your followers, letting them know you’ve started a live video. The number of viewers and comments will appear at the bottom of the screen.

If you’d like to add a comment, tap Comment, type your message, and press Post. Tapping and holding a comment will allow you to pin it to the top so viewers can see it more easily. To turn off comments, tap the three dots to the right of Comment and select Turn Off Commenting. If you have any keyword filters turned on, those will apply here as well.

There are also several icons by the comment area that turn on features you can use during your video. You can add a guest, send a notification to your friends that you’re live, see questions of your screen, turn the camera, and add filters.

Step 5: Ending your livestream

Once you’re done recording, tap End in the upper right. An opaque screen will appear over your camera feed, letting you know your live video has ended. From there, you can choose to save the video to your camera roll, delete it, or share it to IGTV.

How do you view someone else’s live videos?

To view someone else’s live video, tap their profile picture on the top of your Feed. Their picture will appear with a colorful ring around it and the word Live if they have a live video. Keep in mind that anyone else viewing the video can see when you join and when you comment or like the video.

Live-streaming on Instagram is a great way to interact and connect with people. It’s more fun and informal than a posed Instagram photo and super easy to implement. Happy streaming!

Brie Barbee
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brie is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She received a bachelor's degree from Portland State University in 2016, where she…
Meta brings cartoon avatars to video calls on Instagram and Messenger
Meta's cartoon avatars for Instagram and Messenger.

The pandemic was supposed to have made us all comfortable with video calls, but many folks still don’t particularly enjoy the process.

Having to think about what to wear, or how our hair looks, or even fretting about puffy eyes following another bout of hay fever can sometimes be a bit much, even more so if it’s an early-morning call and your brain is still in bed.

Read more
Meta’s Twitter rival Threads to launch on Thursday
Screenshots of Meta's Threads app.

As Twitter becomes evermore challenging to use following changes over the weekend limiting how many tweets a user can read in a day, as well as news on Monday that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use TweetDeck, attention is now shifting to Threads, a Twitter-like app that’s expected to launch for iOS on Thursday.

The rumor mill has been turning for months about Threads, which is also expected to launch soon for Android (via Google Play). It's not clear if it'll be fully accessible at launch, or whether sign-ups will be limited in some way, but all will be revealed soon.

Read more
Instagram and Messenger get more parental supervision tools
Several people using a smartphone.

Meta is releasing additional tools for parents and guardians who want to know more about how their children are interacting with apps like Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook.

Messenger for Kids already includes a lot of similar features, but this latest update is for parents of teens who use Messenger.

Read more