Instagram Extends Live Stream Times To 4 Hours, Will Support Archiving Soon – TechCrunch

Instagram is adapting to the way the creators used its service during the coronavirus pandemic. With individuals and businesses now limited in hosting in-person events, such as concerts, classes, meetups, and more, users have turned to Instagram for live streaming instead. Today, the company says it greatly extends the time limit for these streams from 1 hour to now 4 hours for all users around the world.

The change, the company explains, is intended to help those who have had to turn to virtual events, like yoga and fitness instructors, teachers, musicians, artists and activists, among others. During the height of government lockdowns in the United States, Instagram Live became a gathering place for people. Hosted DJ’s live sets, the artists played their music for the fans, celebrities hosted live talk shows, workout enthusiasts joined live lessons, and more. Live use had then jumped 70% on pre-coronavirus numbers in the United States as people connected online.

Many of these Instagram Live creators had wanted to extend their sessions beyond the 60-minute limit without interruption.

The change puts Instagram on par with the deadlines proposed by Facebook for live broadcasts from mobile devices, which is also 4 hours. (If you’re streaming live from a desktop PC or through an API, the Facebook time limit drops to 8 hours.)

As the longer deadline opens to all creators around the world starting today, Instagram says the creator’s account must be “in good standing” to take advantage of it. This means that the account cannot have a history of 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 the live streams to help direct users to more live content.

Instagram also pre-announced today another feature that is yet to arrive.

He says he will add an option “soon” that will allow creators to archive their live broadcasts for up to 30 days.

Image credits: Instagram

Previously, users could archive their feed posts or stories to a private archive, but the only way to save a live stream was to post it to IGTV immediately after the stream, via a feature introduced in May.

The company says the new live stream archiving option will mirror the existing archiving experience for stories and stream posts.

The difference is that archived live videos will be permanently deleted after 30 days.

But until then, the creator has the option to go back to the video to save or download it. This would allow the creator to post the video to other social platforms, like Facebook or YouTube, or even remove key elements for shorthand video platforms, like TikTok. The archive feature also means that if a creator’s live stream crashes for some reason – or the creator forgot to download it in the moment – it can always be downloaded later.

The news follows another recent Instagram update that introduces a new way for creators to monetize their live broadcasts.

Earlier this month, the company began rolling out badges in Instagram Live to an initial group of over 50,000 creators who will test the functionality by selling badges for $ 0.99, $ 1.99, or $ 4.99. These badges help fan comments stand out in busy feeds, allow fans to support a favorite creator, and put the fan’s name on the list of creator badge holders.

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