It seems as though every social media platform is jumping on the live video bandwagon, and now that includes Instagram. But before you start live-streaming All The Things, it's important to actually know how to tell if you have Instagram Stories Live Video. (The good news is that the process is fairly simple.) Instagram rolled out Live Video to all users in the United States on Monday, Dec. 12 (that's today, y'all!), which means you can start recording your daily life for your followers now.
For those of you who have been following major updates on the platform, you'll know that Instagram Stories came out back in early August. The Stories feature lets you to take multiple photos and videos and share them in a slideshow with followers before they disappear in a matter of 24 hours. Well, Live Video, which was initially announced in November, is basically an extension of Stories where you can broadcast videos live for up to a whole hour (as long as you have an internet connection, of course).
Live Video in Instagram Stories works very similarly to Facebook Live in that your followers are notified once you go live and they can watch in real time. They can also comment, like and engage with you throughout the video. And then, once you stop recording, the live video disappears forever. In fact, if you already checked Instagram today, you might've noticed that there's a new Story up on Instagram's account, announcing the new feature and explaining how live video works.
So how do you go about figuring out if you actually have the Live Video feature? Like I said, it's pretty easy. First, make sure you have the most recent version of Instagram installed. You can see if you have an update available for download in your device's app store; if you do, go ahead and download it and install it.
Then, to double check, you can, y'know, go actually find the feature within Instagram itself. To do so, first, you'll need to open the Instagram app on your mobile phone and then swipe from left to right for the Stories camera, like so:
You'll see a couple of different options. Normal (the default position) and Boomerang (a nifty feature that saves a few seconds of video and plays it backward and forward) are two of them; if you have Instagram Stories Live Video, you'll also see a "Live" option.
You'll notice a "Start Live Video" button, as well as two arrows pointing in a circular direction. Click the arrows to access selfie mode, and then click it again to have the camera focused on what's in front (that's the option I went with). Press the button that says "Start Live Video" to start recording. Don't worry, it'll give you another heads up and count down (3-2-1) before it actually goes live, so you can prepare.
At this point, Instagram will kindly remind you that followers will get a notification about your new live video so they can tune in as well. It also reminds you that Live Videos are ephemeral and only exist for as long as you're recording (so the second you stop recording, poof!).
Worth noting: The "Explore" page on Instagram also includes a "Top Live" section now, which features popular live video stories that are taking place in real time. Simply swipe back to your feed and click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom to reach the "Explore" page. The Instagram live videos will be up top (check the upper right hand corner where it says "Top Live").
Once you click on the "Top Live" button, it'll look something like this:
There you go. Not a bad way to start off a new week, eh? Happy live streaming (and recording)!
Images: Milko/E+/Getty Images; Wendy Lu/Bustle (3); Courtesy of Instagram