Recently, Instagram announced that they’re making some small improvements to Instagram Live, which will make it easier for users to stream and share live videos across the platform. The biggest update for users is that they are no longer limited to 60-minute broadcasts since they can now go live for up to four hours per session. The extended timeframe is available to everyone worldwide, provided that they have no history of IP and policy violations.

Users can view their live streams for up to 30 days in their private archive as well as being able to download and post the content elsewhere.

It’s clear that Instagram is developing its live-streaming format after usage skyrocketed during the pandemic, which forced millions of people to self-isolate and adjust to a norm that lacked the usual social interaction with family and friends. As a result, people turned to screens and technology for entertainment and social needs which they could no longer get in real life.

Instagram Live allows people to connect and engage with a community in real-time. It has been widely used amongst musicians and celebrities during quarantine in an attempt to boost morale and entertain fans in these unprecedented times. The pandemic prompted several mini live concerts, DJ sets and shows which were hosted by the artists on their social media accounts such as; DJ Derrick’s Club Quarantine and Tory Lanez’s Quarantine Radio which features guest appearances, the latter proved to be a massive success with nearly 140,000 viewers tuning in each night. Furthermore, the show broke the record for most Instagram Live Viewers on March 31 when Drake featured on the show, which attracted a staggering 310,000 viewers.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Instagram also revealed that they’re adding a ‘Live Now’ segment to IGTV which will enable users to discover and watch content live in real-time which is similar to the explore page.

IGTV recently added, “Automatic Closed Captions” which is useful for applying on social media videos to connect with your target audience more effectively. Some users prefer playing Instagram videos with the sound off, which is how it typically starts on auto-play until you tap the screen to activate the sound. However, we can make our content accessible to deaf or hearing impaired users by adding automatic closed captions.

To activate this feature and make your content more inclusive access your settings, select Account and then tap captions and switch on Auto-Generated Captions. Once you’ve done this, you will also need to activate Auto Captioning in your IGTV settings too.

If you want to push accessibility further, then you might want to consider applying alternative text to your image posts to support people with screen readers.

Instagram stated that giving people a longer live timeframe will give fitness instructors the ability to teach for longer, and activists more time to connect and converse with their community. It will also encourage people to spend more time on the app since live streams can’t be watched on-demand.