Instagram Stories roll out live video worldwide: what does it mean for publishers?

Over the last week, Instagram rolled out the live feature of Instagram Stories globally. Instagram’s increased focus on video over the last year mirrors that of its now-parent, Facebook. The addition of live video takes yet another page from the Facebook playbook and puts Instagram in play among the various live video features and services. So what do live Instagram Stories mean for publishers?

Stories offered new angles for publishers

From the introduction of Stories, it was clearly an emulation of Snapchat. While the goal wasn’t made explicit, we can infer that Instagram hoped to draw some of the younger audience that most uses Snapchat over to its service.

While the demographic info isn’t known, Instagram has reported that 150 million people use Stories every day. That interest among users offers a doorway for publishers.

With Stories, a publisher can push out a stream of content throughout the day without worrying about overloading feeds with a deluge of posts. Your target audience can be catered to directly and aggressively through Stories, pulling them to become followers of your regular feed.

Live expands them ever further

The addition of live video to Stories offer publishers new ways to grow their audience through unique content offerings.

For breaking news or event coverage, publishers can stream directly to the platform, offering viewers an instant, first-hand account. Because live streams aren’t expected to be highly-produced, publishers and outlets shouldn’t fear letting their teams on the ground just go for it.
In everyone’s pocket is a high-def camera, so if you have a journalist on the ground at an event – whether it’s a press conference or an awards’ show or whatever – empower them to bring that directly to your following.

Users on social want information immediately and they also like direct, on-the-scene access. Live video lets you offer both to your viewers.

Live Stories give you a chance to experiment

Instagram Stories offers your creators a chance to experiment within social video. Content in stories is exclusively vertical in nature, giving you a great space to play with this trending format. You can learn all about vertical and other emerging formats in our most recent ebook

The Pocket Guide to Social Video

The addition of live offer even more unique opportunities, creatively. Live videos can run for as long as an hour – while this is well beyond the brief scope of most social video, it presents the opportunity to give your audience lengthy, behind-the-scenes or on-the-ground insight. Structure the coverage right and viewers could drop in at any time without feeling lost.

Also notable is that live videos on Instagram – unlike those on Facebook or YouTube – disappear forever at the end of their broadcast. They are not saved or posted for later viewing.

You can leverage this angle to create urgency for your audience to tune into a live broadcast on Instagram. It’s their only chance to catch whatever special coverage you’re offering in that moment – push this angle to keep your followers regularly engaged with any live content (and in turn with your Stories in general).

Instagram Stories and the new addition of live video offer a variety of new opportunities for publishers. These tools can help leverage new followers and bring your content to younger audiences that are acutely drawn to Stories-style sharing and live broadcast.


Video creation isn’t available through mobile

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