Instagram is adapting to the way developers used its service during the coronavirus pandemic. With individuals and businesses no longer able to host in-person events like concerts, courses, meetups, and more, users have turned to Instagram instead to create live streams. Today, the company says The time limit for these streams has been significantly increased from 1 hour to now 4 hours for all users worldwide.
The change, the company explains, is intended to help those who have had to focus on virtual events, such as yoga and fitness trainers, teachers, musicians, artists and activists. During the height of the U.S. government lockdowns, Instagram Live became a place for people to gather DJ’s hosted Live sets, Artists played their music for fans, Celebrities put on live talk shows, Workout enthusiasts took part in live classes, and more. Live use then jumped 70% via US pre-coronavirus numbers as online connected people.
Many of these Instagram Live developers wanted to extend their sessions past the 60 minute time limit without interruption.
The change puts Instagram on par with the deadlines offered by Facebook for live streams from mobile devices, which is also 4 hours. (When streaming live from a desktop computer or via an API, the Facebook time limit increases to 8 hours.)
While the longer time limit is open to all developers worldwide from today, the creator’s account must have a “good reputation” according to Instagram in order to take advantage of the benefits. This means that the account cannot have any intellectual property or policy violations.
In connection with this change, Instagram will also update the “Live Now” section in IGTV and at the end of live streams to help guide users to more live content.
Instagram also announced another feature today that is not yet available.
It is said that an option will be added “soon” that will allow developers to archive their live streams for up to 30 days.
Previously, users could archive their feed posts or stories in a private archive. The only way to save a live stream was to post it via IGTV immediately after the stream a feature that was introduced in May.
The company says the new option to archive live broadcasts will mirror the existing story and feed post archiving experience.
The difference is that archived live video is permanently deleted after 30 days.
Until then, however, the creator has the option to return to the video to save or download it. This allows the creator to post the video on other social platforms like Facebook or YouTube or even cut out important parts for short form video platforms like TikTok. The archiving feature also means that a creator’s live stream will crash for whatever reason or if the creator forgot to download it at the moment. It can be downloaded later.
The news follows another recently released Instagram update that saw developers introduce a new way to monetize their live streams.
The company began rolling out badges in Instagram Live earlier this month to an initial group of 50,000+ developers who are testing the feature by selling badges at prices of $ 0.99, $ 1.99, or $ 4.99. These badges help fans’ comments stand out on busy streams, allow fans to endorse a favorite creator, and put the fan name on the creator’s badge list.