How to Go Live on Instagram: The Full Beginner’s Guide

How to go live on Instagram


Instagram Live is an excellent tool for engaging in real-time with followers
Keys for a successful livestream event include preparation and managing questions and comments to make your IG Live even more engaging
Things to avoid include broadcasting live too often, get into fights with your followers or come off as too sales-y
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Every content creator at one time or another must think about how to grow their following and keep people engaged. Enter the livestream. Broadcasting on Instagram Live is an excellent way to engage in real-time with followers. Hosting a livestream is also a way to show your creativity. But before we get to that, we will cover preparing for your Instagram Live, how to go live on Instagram, do’s and don’ts, and what to do afterward.

But first, what is Instagram Live?

What Is Instagram Live?

In 2016, Instagram introduced the live stream. At any time, a user can go live and broadcast to all their followers in real-time. The best part? It’s so easy. All you do is open the Instagram app on your phone and choose the “Live” button. Note that you cannot broadcast live from the desktop app without third-party software.


Why use Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is an easy and effective tool for engaging with your followers. Show off your work, perform, ask and answer questions and get follower feedback in real-time. This interaction results in more engaged followers and helps you see what they enjoy about your content. Instagram Live is a great tool to keep your followers coming to your page!

So, what should you do during your livestream? Here are some ideas.

IG Live ideas

Be as creative as you want with your IG Live. Want to show off your work or a work in progress? Do it.

For example, if you are an artist, demonstrate your craft in real-time. If you’re a photographer or filmmaker, go behind the scenes of an exciting location or project and give your followers an intimate look at your process.

If you have a product or a shop, why not show followers when you have a new item? An Instagram Live can also be as simple as a question and answer session. After you get a few broadcasts under your belt, you may even want to collaborate with another social media influencer and go live together. That will give you twice the audience.

Now that you have ideas of what to broadcast, here’s how to prepare.

Preparing for your Instagram Livestream

So now you might be wondering how to live stream on Instagram. First thing’s first, make sure your technicalities of broadcasting live are worked out well in advance. The last thing you want is to be fumbling with your phone instead of focusing on engaging with your audience. Make sure your phone is charged, and consider putting it on a tripod, so your hands are free. You’ll also want to set up your location and do a test recording session. Next, check your lighting and audio. Will it be too bright, too dark or too loud? Consider adding a light or 2 or even using a microphone attached to your phone for the best webcam lighting setup.

Now for the technicalities of your broadcast. Here are all the Instagram video settings you need to pay attention to.

How to go live on Instagram

How to go live on an iPhone or an Android:

  1. Click the “+” button at the top right corner of the Instagram app.

how to go live on instagram step 1

  1. Select “Live”


  1. You have options on the left to add a title and branded partners, select a nonprofit to donate to during a fundraiser, choose a broadcast audience and even practice a live for yourself only. The final selection is to schedule a live broadcast.

how to go live on ig step 3

going live on instagram step 4

  1. Choose a filter if you like.
  2. Press the Record button in the center.

How to go live on a desktop PC:

To go live on your desktop, you need a third-party app, as the platform only allows live streaming from mobile devices.

And while there are 3rd-party apps that let you do an IG live on your desktop, they violate Instagram’s terms and conditions, so using them is not recommended. How you choose to go live in IG all depends on your purpose, but first timers should definitely go for the mobile phone option.

How to promote your Instagram Live event

Before you go live, give your followers plenty of time to tune in. Create a poster announcing your livestream and advertising what you’ll do during the broadcast. Likewise, share your event on Instagram Stories, Posts, or even make a teaser video and upload it to Reels or IGTV. You should also engage your audience by asking questions. What would they like to know during your broadcast? Use the Story question sticker to find out!

Announce your Instagram Live event on all your social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Make sure you do so more than once, at different times of the day, so as many followers as possible see it and tune in.

When to go live on Instagram

The best time to go live on Instagram depends on your IG analytics. Using IG Insights, find the days and times your followers are most active. If you can broadcast then, you’ll have the best engagement. If most of your followers are on the other side of the world, you may have to get up early or stay up late, but it will be worth it!

Managing comments during your livestream

You have the option of turning off comments before you go live or blocking individual users from commenting once you start. You may want to outline the rules of commenting before you begin to avoid annoyances and hecklers. If you decide to keep comments open, be sure to say the user’s name in your answer and thank them for participating.

What to do after your livestream

Now you know how to do an Instagram Live, but what should you do after? Instagram doesn’t automatically save your live stream, so make sure you download it or select the “save to IGTV” option. Then, you can continue to promote viewership by sharing it on your Stories. Consider doing this if your livestreams are a series of instructional videos or otherwise thematic.

Do’s and don’ts when going live on Instagram


  • Be prepared!
  • Promote your event well in advance
  • Ask followers questions beforehand that you answer during your Instagram Live
  • Charge your phone
  • Set up your “recording studio” with good lighting and sound
  • Pay attention to the 60-minute time limit
  • Broadcast on the day/time most followers are likely to be awake and tune in
  • Make an outline
  • Rehearse
  • Use your followers’ names when responding to comments
  • Be friendly
  • Be instructive
  • Promote your brand but don’t be sales-y
  • Have fun!


  • Broadcast too frequently or without purpose. Make it a meaningful event!
  • Go live in a noisy place where your followers can’t hear you
  • Shake the phone or move too much
  • Get into fights with followers
  • Fail to provide interesting or relevant info
  • Broadcast at odd hours
  • Come off as too sales-y
  • Fail to engage with your live audience

    Get all you need to create the perfect video

Wrapping up

Now you know how to go live on Instagram. Livestreaming doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow our guide and brainstorm on ways to promote your channel, page, brand, craft, service, or personality on Instagram Live!

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Frequently asked questions

Broadcast at any time from your phone using the Instagram app and engage with followers who join in real-time.

Yes. There is no follower limit to doing an Instagram Live.

IG Live is broadcast in real-time, and IGTV is pre-recorded then uploaded.

The time limit on an IG Live is 60 minutes.

When your live stream is over, select “Share to IGTV.”

Jessica Peterson is a travel and documentary filmmaker with a background in journalism and marketing. She runs Purple Noon Productions from sunny Los Angeles. She has 20 years of experience producing content in 114 cities and 25 countries. In 2016, she directed and produced her own documentary about her then-home of Guam. Her clients include CNN, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Matador Network, and Tastemade.

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