Though Instagram Live first debuted in November 2016, the extremely online reality of recent years seems to have breathed a new life into going live on the platform. By mid-2020, Instagram Live had become the internet’s hottest club for everything from workout classes, to cooking lessons, and even comedy shows. (See: the narrative arc of Instagram Live pioneer-turned-actual talk show host Ziwe Fumudoh.)
Whether you’ve been a long-time audience member of Instagram Lives, or have just finally caved to those incessant notifications about people you follow going live, you might be finally eager to take the virtual stage. But, going live on Instagram can run into some technical difficulties.
If you’ve been wondering why you can’t go live on Instagram, here’s everything you need to know about getting showtime-ready on the social media platform.
How To Go Live On Instagram
The process of going live on Instagram is pretty simple. Simply swipe to the right as you would while posting a story, and tap “Live” from the bottom dial. On your left-hand menu, you will see options like Details, Title, Fundraiser, Audience, and Schedule buttons. You can also set your audience to private if you want to practice your Live skills before showtime.
Once you’ve selected your preferred settings for the broadcast, you are ready to go live. Simply tap the record button in the bottom center of your screen. Instagram will check for a stable connection, and you should soon be online.
If it’s your first time going live, Instagram will show a walk-through on your screen regarding how to answer audience questions, add someone else to your live, use filters, and more.
Why Can't I Go Live On Instagram?
While the process of going live on Instagram can also seem too easy (as in, you might worry about butt-dialing an Instagram Live in your pocket!), it can also present some technical difficulties. If you’re a frequent audience member of Instagram Live, then this likely is not a surprise to you.
One of the most common issues with going live on Instagram is connectivity. Since Instagram Live is a live broadcast feed, you’ll need to be on stable service in order to properly broadcast online without freezing. If you can’t connect to Instagram Live, make sure you’re connected to Wifi or have strong cell service.
Another issue might be adding someone to your livestream. It’s not uncommon for Instagrammers to have trouble adding someone to their live — whether it’s finding their request or other issues. If you can’t find someone’s request, hit the camera with a plus sign icon at the bottom of your screen. This will show you any requests to join. If the person has requested to join and you approve their request, be sure that they are also on a stable connection.
As with any tech issue, if all else fails, make sure your app is updated or try closing and restarting the Instagram app, or your phone. Your followers will be notified whenever you come back online to finish your sourdough bread baking class.