Instagram to extend livestreaming time limit to 4 hours

Social media site will also soon support video archiving

Instagram is changing some features to adapt to how creators use the service during the pandemic. With more individuals and businesses using Instagram to livestream events, the company has expanded its stream time limit from one hour to four for all users.

The increased time limit will help teachers, musicians, artists, fitness instructors, activists and other creators replace cancelled in-person events with virtual events. Instagram Live use has increased by 70% since government-imposed lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Amid the increased traffic, the site’s seen a boost from artists playing music for fans, celebrities hosting talk shows, trainers running live workouts and live DJ events. Instagram Live creators have been looking to host sessions longer than the previously set 60-minute time limit.

Instagram’s increased time limit matches Facebook’s four-hour cap for livestreams on mobile devices. Facebook, however, offers an eight-hour time limit for livestreaming from a desktop computer or API. 

Instagram creators must have an account in “good standing” to qualify for the longer time limit. Accounts with a history of intellectual property or policy violations won’t qualify. Instagram is also updating IGTV’s “Live Now” section and will direct users to additional live content at the end of livestreams. 

Instagram announced another pending feature, which will allow creators to archive livestreams for up to 30 days. Today, creators can privately archive Feed posts and Stories but can only save a livestream by publishing it to IGTV after it ends. The new feature for archiving live broadcasts will be similar to archiving Stories and Feed posts, although Instagram will delete live videos after 30 days.

For now, Instagram creators can save or download the video. This will enable users to publish the video on other social media platforms, like YouTube or Facebook, or edit the videos to make them shorter for TikTok. The Archive feature enables creators to download the video at a later date.

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