What are you and your business up to? Care to share some insights into your new product or service? Feeling good at the event you’re attending or excited about the adventure you’re embarking on? Take “stories” a step further with Instagram’s “Live” feature, one of the more fun and engaging ways to gain more exposure, connect with your audience, and collaborate with influencers in your industry.
How Do I Go “Live”?
Instagram Live is a feature woven into the existing “stories” tab on the app’s Home screen. When you swipe over to add a picture or video to your story, you will see the option to go live instead. Once you start broadcasting live video, your followers will see a “Live” badge on your story icon and oftentimes receive a notification letting them know to tune in.
Is This Any Different Than Going Live On Facebook?
Though this feature has already been a part of other social media platforms, the main difference seems to be that unlike Facebook and Periscope, the live streams captured by Instagram last for only a short while. You do have the option to save your stream for up to 24 hours but without selecting this option videos will disappear once the broadcast ends.
So, if you don’t want to miss an Instagram Live video you generally want to be following the account or tuning in at the right time. That being said, Instagram is also pushing live stories into the app’s “explore” tab so users who aren’t already following you can catch your stream when searching for topics they’re interested in that relate to your brand.
Videos saved to live on as stories can also be shared as Facebook stories, a nice integration allowing you to reach two platforms with one broadcast.
You Mentioned Collaborate With Influencers?
In an effort to one-up competitors, Instagram recently enhanced their video streaming service with a new feature that it hopes will bring out more videos both from its users who might be too shy to use the feature on their own, and from others who can’t resist an opportunity to be more social. Just before the end of 2017, Instagram announced that it would let users running live streams add guests to their videos.
The logic behind adding guests is clear for Instagram. Not only does it offer users who might hesitate to use the video feature alone a little more confidence, but adds much more engagement to the mix. The status icon for a live broadcast gets sent out to the follower networks of both the video host and guest, creating a much larger pool of potential viewers. Live streams using the guest feature will show up as two circles stacked together in the stories status bar.
With guests you are able to create more ways for people to interact. Conversations, cross-promotion, and interviews with top influencers in your market make for a great set of exposure and engagement opportunities you don’t typically have within the solo format.
And last but certainly not least..
Invitations or Requests?
Instagram was off to a good start letting anyone streaming live invite a guest to join them, but by adding a request feature the potential for collaboration has been greatly expanded. Viewers can tap a request button in the comments section, the host will see requests pop up in real time and can accept or deny, while having a list of pending requests in the case there are several people wanting to join.
This feature should also be helpful among friends. It shifts the burden for collaboration from host to guest, encouraging a lot more people to participate resulting in a happier host and better organic content overall.