UPDATED: How to do Instagram live video and how to turn Instagram live video notifications off 

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

In mid-December 2016 Instagram Live started rolling out in phases in the United States and around the world. As of Jan. 20, 2017, many – including in Europe and Asia, according to reader emails – still didn’t have it.
If you don’t have it yet, you likely should get it soon. I got it on Dec. 14, 2016. Be sure to have the latest iOS version and latest version of the app. One of my daughters has an older iPhone (3 or 4), and her older version of Instagram doesn’t have Instagram Live.

“I want that, too, Dad,” she said. Not going to happen with the older versions.

Here’s how it looks once you have it:

Older posts: 

As of Nov. 25, 2016, live video now works for some. I got my first notification that day:

How to turn off Instagram Live video notifications

Now that more and more people are getting and then trying Instagram Live video, we are all getting more notifications. That begs the question: How do we turn them off? Here’s how:

From your profile click the wheel on the top right:

Then scroll down and turn live video notifications off. Easy breezy. As far as I can tell, you can’t turn them off for specific users as of late 2016. It’s either all on or all off.

Antonia Baedt of Koenigsfilm in Düsseldorf where I spoke shared these screen shots of her being able to go live.

So, once you can go live, there’s the LIVE tab in Instagram Stories. Once live, you’ll get this:

I don’t know yet if there will be a workaround to save live videos somehow, either on the phone or in another app.

Right before Thanksgiving 2016, Instagram released an update that announced that you will soon be able to do live video within Instagram Stories.

Follow me on Instagram here. 

But, I wonder when the copying of functionalities from social media network to social media network will stop – or maybe it won’t. 

In just about any network now you can post words, pictures, video and now do live video. At some point the differentiators between networks will certainly disappear – if they haven’t already. I’m actually picturing some of our early social media adopters doing live video from all these networks at the same time. For the record, that would require five or more cameras.

And many of the live videos that are being thrown out there are really not that worthwhile to watch. I’ll likely try live video on Instagram, but we’ll see if it lasts. What’s different and better on Instagram? I’m not sure. It seems like just another platform copying other platforms’ functionalities.

To this point I’ve actually liked Instagram quite a bit because it is slightly unique from others. For example, you can’t even post anything unless you have a photo. While I have seen some people post crappy stock art images to Instagram, many people post original and unique photos.

The Instagram Stories feature also is a nice way to post less-than-polished photos to the app. It’s similar to Snapchat, though, so another copied functionality.


How to integrate Instagram Stories into your content marketing

Live video does have a place in content distribution, but we want to be sure that we have a plan in place to make live shots worthwhile for our audiences.

One big drawback of live video on social media actually is that it is live, and especially in the instance of Instagram live video, it will actually disappear once you end the broadcast.

Some social media experts out there explain that people just want to see what’s happening in the moment. And that is partially true and especially accurate if they actually catch it when it’s live. But social media viewing for me for example is kind of hit and miss. I see some things and miss others. It all depends what else is going on. That’s one reason why content creators can effectively repeat tweets. People miss them.

So some people say we should set a live broadcast schedule. Always go live at this time and on this day. And sometimes that time works for the audience and sometimes it does not.

Just looking at my own social media and blog content I can tell you for sure that much of  the content has a longer shelf life than just the moment when I published it the first time. My blog content – including videos – continues to draw traffic long after it was first published. When I share again links to old Periscope broadcasts, people watch them again or in some cases for the first time.


Watch my TV interview about live video 

I’m not knocking live social media video at all. I do it myself, but like any other piece of a content marketing plan, make sure to know your audience, have a goal and have unique content to share.

I’m reviewing Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube Live in this video:

How to now also do live video directly in Twitter

Twitter announced in December 2016 that it will now integrate live video directly into its app.

Up to this point, Twitter users could go live on Twitter-owned Periscope. Adding it natively into the app makes sense but is it really a differentiator? Instagram and Facebook – with much bigger user bases, according to Pew – also have live video.

Anyway, Twitter certainly will roll out the functionality in phases and once you have  it you see the Live button.

Once you click that you get this:

Once live, it’s basically like Periscope, except that you can’t share to Facebook. You can share via email, but when I tried that it stopped my live video.

What will happen to my Periscope videos? No idea. We’ll find out, but I do have a bunch saved there. The Periscope App remains available as of Dec. 14, 2016 and sharing the live video from Twitter actually takes viewers to Periscope.tv.

Related: How to save Twitter Live videos

Will people do live video on Twitter? We’ll see but my Twitter poll isn’t showing promise:

Listen to my podcast