Instagram now lets you save your livestreams forever
Instagram has announced a small but significant new feature that makes one of its headline capabilities more useful. It's now possible to download your live video streams to your phone's storage, letting you keep them after you've finished broadcasting.
live video last year and has seen widespread success with the feature. You can start streaming what's around you using the app's built-in camera. Your followers can then tune into your video at any point while you're live. Comments are visible to everyone watching and users can send likes and emoji as you stream.
Currently, the details of the stream are lost when you stop broadcasting. Instagram doesn't retain any information on livestreams so once you tap "End" all evidence of the stream is removed from the app. Friends won't be able to view it and it doesn’t show up in the home feed, preventing anyone seeing it – including yourself.
As the rest of Instagram's content is sourced from permanent material on your phone, this behaviour is a little incongruous. Instagram today announced
it will now let you save livestreams once you're done filming them, letting you keep and watch them long after they've stopped being live. As with any other Instagram content, you'll be able to keep a permanent record on your phone to view again or share with friends who missed the original broadcast.
Livestreams can be saved by tapping the new "Save" button in the upper right corner of the app after you've pressed "End." The video will be added to your camera roll and will show up in your usual file browser or videos app. Tapping "Done" will then close the broadcast screen and delete the stream from the app. If you forget to press "Save" before "Done," there's no way of returning to the page.
"Starting today, you’ll have the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast," said Instagram
. "While live videos will continue to disappear from the app when you’re done, this update gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share."
Instagram reminded users that the feature only saves the raw video content and won't preserve any of the social features overlaid on it in the stream view. Likes, comments and interactions cannot be viewed once a stream ends and there's currently no way to save this data for later reference. It's possible Instagram will make this information available in the future.
The feature addition comes as Instagram places pressure on rival Snapchat. Snapchat has been facing difficulties since filing its IPO
early this month. In the past year, its once-rapid growth has stalled dramatically
, a change attributed to the launch of new Instagram features.
It's only a minor addition but the ability to save livestreams acts as a "quality of life" improvement for Instagram to keep fending off the threat of Snapchat. It could help to retain regular live video users, likely to be some of the most active people on Instagram.
The ability to save livestreams is available now in the latest version of Instagram for iOS and Android devices. The feature should show up in the Windows 10 version of the app in a few weeks' time. If you're not seeing the button appear in the app, you should manually check for updates and make sure version 10.12 is installed.