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Angela Soudi

Instagram Live Stream Time Limit Extended To 4 Hours

November 27, 2020

Head of Hospitality

Angela Soudi

Head of Hospitality
Social Media Management

Article Overview

10min read

Instagram, the photo and video-sharing social networking platform, recently announced that they are extending the time limit for live streams from 1 hour to 4 for all the users around the world.

Extended Live Stream Time

Live streaming on Instagram has seen a 70% increase in use over pre-coronavirus numbers in the U.S. specifically, as people have taken to online platforms to stay connected to friends and family. It has also become a place for people to gather – such as DJ’s hosted live sets, music played by artists for their fans, celebrities hosted live talk shows, and more, during the lockdowns in the U.S. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram is adapting to the way creators have been using the service. 

For instance, individuals (yoga and fitness instructors, teachers, musicians, artists, and activists, among others) and businesses are now limited to host in-person events – such as concerts, classes, meetups, and more given the current circumstances. They are turning to virtual events using Instagram and its live-streaming feature and the new update will help people further.

By extending the live stream time limit, Instagram helps its users to go live for 4 hours in a single stream. The previous time limit was 1 hour – at the end of which, the stream would immediately cut off. However, if a user wanted to stream longer they had to go live again. This was a slight drawback in the feature because, while the user is setting up for the next live, they would have lost all their audience from the previous stream. Also, many of the Instagram Live creators wanted to extend their sessions beyond the 60-minute time limit to connect with their followers without any interruptions.

This new change brings Instagram on par with the time limits offered by Facebook for live streams from mobile devices, which also extends up to 4 hours. If Facebook live streaming is from a desktop computer or via an API, then the time limit is doubled to 8 hours. Even then, Twitch trumps both social media platforms as it allows its users to stream for 24+ hours if desired.

While the longer time limit is opening up to creators worldwide, Instagram notes that only “good standing” creator’s accounts can benefit from this new update. It means that the creator’s account can’t have a history of either intellectual property or policy violations. Along with the live stream time extension, Vishal Shah, the VP of products at Instagram also announced two more updates. They are:

1.  Live videos will be available in users archive for up to 30 days

2. ‘Live Now’ section is included within the IGTV app and also on Explore

Instagram has introduced Live Archives, where all your live stream videos will now be kept in your private archive for 30 days after they air. Up until now, Instagram has only archived a user’s stories and feed posts. In order to save a live stream, the user has to publish it to IGTV immediately. But now live videos are also archived and these can be downloaded or re-used for your next IGTV content.


LinkedIn’s third update of seeing a “Live Now” section in the IGTV app and on Explore helps users to discover more Live streams on the platform. This feature was launched with the idea of providing users with more content that may interest them, both from the creators they follow, and also those they don`t. It makes live streams more discoverable and keeps them available to watch for a longer period of time after they’re completed. This feature is similar to YouTube’s recommendation videos which pop up at the end of a video.


The company has also rolled out another update to Live such as ‘fan badges’ to an initial group of over 50,000 creators who will test the feature by selling badges at price points of $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99. For Instagram, all these updates are another step towards helping creators follow their interests, reach out to their followers/audiences, engage with communities, and build businesses successfully.


Angela Soudi

Head of Hospitality

Angela Soudi is a visionary writer with 20+ years of experience in Sales and Marketing across Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. She is highly invested in actively contributing articles to pioneering hospitality platforms and websites.

Angela Soudi

Head of Hospitality
Social Media Management
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