How to see live broadcasts on Instagram

How to see live broadcasts on Instagram

The Instagram live are videos of a maximum duration of one hour that a user films and uploads in real time to their channel, where they usually remain visible for 24 hours. For some time now, these video streams can be saved and archived on the social network through IGTV; consequently, they remain usable – that is, they can be viewed / reproduced – at a later time.

Nowadays, an ever increasing number of users realize and / or watch live broadcasts, appreciated above all for their “spontaneity”. On a platform where everything is carefully edited before being shared, it’s nice to find less constructed and “imperfect” content. After all, some oversights can happen: this is precisely the “beauty of live streaming” (or not?). To exploit this function are mainly famous people and influencers, who work through social networks, but anyone can start a live Instagram. Whether it’s that of a well-known person or that of a friend of yours, if you’re here it’s because you want to know how to see a live on Instagram. Well, in this guide I’ll explain everything you need to know about this topic.


How starting a direct works on Instagram

opzione di avvio diretta Instagram

Starting a live stream on Instagram can be performed by entering the “Stories” section, choosing the option “ Live ”And tapping the“ Broadcast live ”button (using the iOS or Android app).

But what happens when you do this? Followers – or, at least, most of them – receive a notification related to the live event (unless they have silenced that Instagram profile). The creator will wait a few minutes before starting his show, so that his viewers will be able to see and hear him correctly through their devices.

Viewers will be able to view the live stream by accessing it via the notification or story feed. In the feed, the image of the creator who is streaming is surrounded by a colored ring (also called the circle of the Instagram stories), bearing the words “Live” (at the bottom). Another way to connect to the video stream is to search for the creator’s profile and tap on his main image (as if you wanted to play his story).

Who can watch an Instagram live

A distinction needs to be made:

  • If the stream was started from a public account , you can watch it without any problem, whether you follow this user or you do not follow him;
  • If instead it is the live of a private profile , you must necessarily be his follower to be able to access the various contents he shares.

Obviously, you will receive the notification of the live only and exclusively if you follow that person; otherwise, you could periodically connect to his profile to see if there were any new videos.

It is important to note that, both in the case of a public and private profile, you may not have access to this user’s live if he had blocked you on Instagram or if he had chosen to hide his stories from you on Instagram.

What you need

To play a live stream on Instagram you must have:

  • A stable internet connection (possibly under Wi-Fi coverage);
  • An unsecured / banned account (although, as we will see later in the guide, in this case there is a “trick”);
  • A smartphone, tablet or PC.

It should be noted that, at least for the moment, smartphones and tablets (with an Android or iOS operating system) are preferred for better use. In fact, watching Instagram live streaming from desktop (via Web) involves some limitations, while the smart TV is not always compatible with this activity.

How to connect to an Instagram profile live

On smartphone or tablet

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iPhone / iPad or on your Android smartphone / tablet;
  2. Search for the live you are interested in in the Stories feed. Alternatively, tap the magnifying glass and search for the user you want;
  3. Tap their profile picture and join the live.


  1. Open the Instagram app for Windows 10 or connect to Instagram via browser;
  2. Log in to your account and then click on the direct you are interested in see, which will appear among the stories.

I remind you that from Instagram Web it is possible to follow only and exclusively the direct of the users followed . This is not a small limitation, but it could change over time.


Would you like to follow a live Instagram directly on your screen. television? You can do this, even if you don’t have a latest generation smart TV.

To do this, you could use audio / video signal receivers, i.e. HDMI dongles such as Chromecast, Mi Box S and Fire TV Stick. Alternatively, you could take advantage of Miracast and AirPlay’s mirroring modes , which allow you to cast the screen of your Android smartphone / tablet, as well as the display of your iPhone or iPad.

One Once screen sharing is configured, just open the Instagram app from your device and start the live stream as I have already suggested.

Viewer options

There are a number of actions you can perform as a live participant. In detail:

  • Comment to express your opinion and / or to ask questions, interacting in this way both with the protagonist of the live broadcast itself and with other people who are watching her (like you). You may not be able to leave comments in the live, without understanding why. In this case, probably, the author of the live broadcast decided – for one reason or another – to remove the comments from the Instagram stream. If you particularly care about letting him know what you think, you can always try writing him a Direct (private) message and hope he’ll answer you, since it’ll end up in IG’s message requests (unless you’ve already chatted with him. in the past);
  • Share the live . By clicking on the three dots (bottom, right), you can either copy the link of the Instagram direct (to be pasted where you believe, for example in a chat) or select direct sharing in messages or on external apps (such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, Facebook and more). If you want to send the live stream within the application itself, you must instead touch the paper airplane icon, then select the user you are interested in;
  • If the comments have not been disabled by the author of the live, you can tag your friends directly under the live stream.

There are other secondary options that you can use. For example, you can like the comments of the live stream, manage playback (i.e. close it, expand it to full screen, etc.) or check the total number of users who are connected to the live in real time.

Exit an Instagram live as a viewer

When the broadcast ends, you don’t have to do anything to exit, because it will close automatically. If, on the other hand, you want to stop viewing the live while it is still in progress, you must select the button in the shape of X located at the top right.

Viewing Instagram live broadcasts based on a situation

Now I will analyze the most common doubts related to playing a live as a spectator.

Without account or without being seen

It is not possible to watch live without an Instagram account. This is partially true for public accounts: if – and only if – the live stream was saved as an IGTV video , you would have the opportunity to review it later even without a profile, therefore anonymously (secretly) . Of course, if it doesn’t, then you would have missed the live event.

If it has already started

You realized late that is one of your favorite users streaming live? No problem: you can watch it from the moment you arrive, and then retrieve the beginning at a later time. In fact, remember that Instagram live shows remain visible for 24 hours .

If-ended recently

If the live broadcast has finished less than 24 hours , you will be able to see / review it without any problems, simply by touching the user’s profile image.

If instead it has elapsed more than a day from the live stream, you would only be allowed to review it if it was saved as an IGTV video. At least for the moment, this does not happen automatically (unlike Facebook direct, for example, which are archived as video posts), but it must be the streamer who takes this action.

Can other apps be used to watch Instagram broadcasts?

Although StreamYard can be used to stream on Instagram and other social media at the same time , it is not possible to use third-party software or apps to reproduce the live broadcasts of other users.

At this time, seeing the Instagram live on other apps is only possible in case of multiple streaming : a user could in fact decide to share the live broadcast also on other social networks, for example Facebook or TikTok.

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