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Instagram is rolling out two new features, the most exciting of which for sure is Instagram Live Video!

Please note: not everyone will have these new feature yet. They will be rolled out over the next two weeks, says Instagram.

Instagram Live Video

Instagram Live Video is part of Instagram Stories, a feature rolled out by Instagram in August of this year. Any photos and videos shared on Instagram Stories are grouped together and appear as a slideshow on your Profile. After 24 hours they disappear, so you don’t need to worry you’re oversharing.

The new thing now is LIVE video. And: the video will disappear right after you’ve finished livestreaming!

How do I go live?

  1. Open Instagram on your phone.
  2. When you’re watching the feed (just as you would normally), swipe right.
  3. The first time, you might get a notification to “Enable Microphone Access”. Click on those blue words.
  4. In your settings, make sure the Microphone option is turned on.
  5. Go back to Instagram. If needed, swipe right again from the feed.
  6. The camera is now activated. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a white button that says “Start Live Video”.
  7. You will see a message on the screen that says “You are now live!”

Good to know:

  • You can livestream for up to one hour at a time.
  • After you’re done, the video is gone. There are no replays.
  • Your Instagram friends may get a notification when you go live, so they can come and watch 🙂 TechCrunch says: “Instagram will choose some close friends who’ve shown interest in Live video to hit with notifications to come watch. (…) Not alerting everyone who follows you prevents notification overload that plagued Periscope early on.”
  • After you’ve gone live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see. This can be a comment of your own, or of one of your viewers.
  • It’s also possible to turn comments off completely.
  • It’s possible to hide all the buttons if you want to.
  • It’s possible to block and report someone that’s annoying or harassing you.

How will I know if someone I follow is live?

At the top you see a row with people’s images in circles (the so-called Stories Bar). If you see “Live” at the bottom of the circle, in red/pink, the person is live at that moment. Click on their profile image to join their livestream!

Are there other ways to find nice livestreams?

Yes! There is the “Explore” tab (click the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen when watching the feed). At the top, above the images and videos that were there before, you will see people’s profile pictures in circles (the Stories bar). Here Instagram will highlight Live videos too. TechCrunch mentions: “Based on view count, geography, and language, Instagram will provide a curated channel you can swipe through.” It’s a great way to discover new Instagrammers to follow!

What can I do when watching someone else’s livestream?

When watching a livestream you can comment and tap the screen to give hearts (just like on Periscope), which is of course a great way to encourage the livestreamer and show your appreciation! Some of the hearts will have your profile picture in it.

Disappearing Photos and Videos for Groups and Friends in Instagram Direct

It was already possible in Instagram to send private messages (Direct Messages) to friends and groups. These were permanent. It’s now possible to send images and videos to people that will disappear after people have seen them. Here’s how it works!

How to send a disappearing photo or video to friends or a group

  1. Open Instagram on your phone.
  2. Swipe right to get to the camera.
  3. Take a picture or record a video.
  4. Click on the arrow at the bottom right of your screen.
  5. Select the people / groups you’d like to send your message to. If you’re selecting multiple individuals to send the message to, they will all receive an individual message. If you select a group your message will start a group conversation, and all people in the group will be able to answer.
  6. Click “Send” at the bottom of the screen.

Good to know

  • You can only send disappearing videos and photos to people that follow you on Instagram or to people that previously accepted a message sent by you (these would be people that don’t follow you).
  • Regular messages sent via Instagram Direct will remain permanent messages, just as they were before.
  • Disappearing messages sent to you by others can be found in your Instagram Direct messages inbox. Click on the little paper plane icon at the top right of your screen to get there. Below the word “Messages” you will find your regular Instagram Direct messages. These are the permanent ones. Above the word “Messages” you will see a bar that displays the disappearing videos and photos.

How long does it take before the videos and pictures will disappear?

    The person that receives the photo or video can watch it once, and then play it one more time, and then it’s gone.

Where do I find disappearing videos and photos that I’ve sent to others?

After you’ve sent a disappearing photo or video to someone, you can’t see watch them yourself anymore.

How do I know if someone watched my photo or video?

It’s possible to see if your photo/video has been delivered, has been opened, has been played and if someone took a screenshot of it:

  1. Open Instagram on your phone.
  2. Go to your inbox by clicking on the paper plane icon at the top right.
  3. At the top of your inbox (above the word “Messages) you will see the conversation as a circle. You will see a white circle with a grey checkmark below the message if your message has been delivered, and you will see a grey circle with a white checkmark below your message if the message has been opened.
  4. Below the message you will see its status: if it’s been played and if someone took a screenshot.
  5. For group conversations: click on the conversation, hold it, and select “View activity”. There you can see the status of the message for each person in the group.

Please note: you can only see the status of your message soon after you’ve sent it. So if someone replied to your message in a group conversation, you won’t be able to see the original status of the message you’ve sent.