Instagram users can now stream live up to four times longer than before following a significant extension to live stream time limits.
In addition, Instagram is making live streams more discoverable and keeping them available to watch for a greater period of time after they’re concluded.
Here’s more all the updates announced for Instagram Live.
Longer Time Limit For Live Streams
An update that’s now rolling out to all Instagram users makes it possible to go live for four hours in a single stream.
Previously, the time limit for Instagram live streams was one hour, after which point the stream would immediately cut off.
If users wanted to stream longer they had the option to go live again, but they would have lost all their audience from the last stream.
An extension to the time limit of Instagram live streams gives users the flexibility to stream longer without interruptions.
This brings Instagram in line with Facebook in terms of live stream time limits on mobile devices.
Facebook allows users to go live on mobile for up to 4 hours, though that time can be doubled to 8 hours if streaming from a desktop computer.
Both are still well behind Twitch, however, where users can stream for 24+ hours if they choose to.
Instagram users can start taking advantage of the extended time limit now, as long as their account is in “good standing.”
Improved Discoverability of Live Streams
Instagram is making it easier for users to discover live streams with the addition of a “Live Now” section in IGTV.
Also, when a live stream concludes, Instagram will direct viewers to more live streams from other users.
This is similar to how YouTube recommends other content to continue watching at the end of video.
Perhaps Instagram will take a page out of Twitch’s playbook in the future and allow users to “raid” other peoples’ live streams.
A Twitch raid refers to migrating an entire live audience from one user’s stream to another. This is an optional feature streamers can utilize when concluding a broadcast.
A raid helps people discover new streamers, while also helping to grow streamers’ audiences. It’s a win-win for both sides.
There’s no such feature in the works for Instagram, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Instagram recently began letting users monetize their streams with fan badges, which is remarkably similar to Twitch’s subscription system.
Time will tell if more Twitch-like features are on the way for Instagram Live.
Live Stream Archive
Instagram will soon give users the option to archive their streams for up to 30 days.
Previously, users could save their feed posts or their stories to a private archive, but the only way to save a stream was to immediately publish it to IGTV.
The upcoming option to save live steams will work exactly like the archive feature for feed posts and stories.
However, unlike feed posts and stories which are saved indefinitely, live streams will be deleted after 30 days.
Source: Instagram’s VP of Product on Twitter