At the beginning of lockdown and quarantine efforts in the middle of March, Instagram began witnessing users flock to the medium to share the ordinary and rather mundane (but pleasant!) details of their private lives. Now everyone, it seemed, had a chance to unwind for a minute and share simpler content. That heightend COVID-19-sparked reliance on Instagram led to a whopping 70 percent increase in usage, specifically with Instagram Live.
Now the social network, owned by Facebook, wants to give users more time and exposure by way of the Live feature. Instead of the previous one hour limit, Instagram Live will stay up for users up to four hours. Users will also have the ability to keep their Live content on their account for a month before the company permanently deletes it.
If you're interested in learning more about Live material, Instagram will also give users a Live Now section on their IGTV app so they can see more content in that category. Of course, it's not as sweet as a deal like a timeline that is chronologically ordered but it certainly helps individuals and groups stay connected in an increasingly remote world.
Deeper archive, longer time limit — While people adapt to the coronavirus world, Instagram is trying to adapt to its demographic's needs under increased social distancing. With concerts being called off, in-person events of large groups being put on indefinite pause, reading groups, coding classes, and other activities entering a state of limbo thanks to COVID-19, Instagram has become the world's virtual stage, club, gig, concert, classroom, and more. In some cases, it's even become the perfect point for animal habitats like this one.
Bands have played live music for their followers, literary joints have held their own poetry and prose readings, gym rats have turned to virtual classes to get their yoga and HIIT fixes, and much more. A longer time limit will undoubtedly allow people from all walks of life to try even more lengthy and detailed events. It makes sense that Instagram went this route as Facebook already has a four hour time limit on its live streams. Bonus: if you're running a live stream from a desktop, you can stay online for eight hours with Facebook.
On the flip side, there is a perfectly natural and even reasonable need to not be flooded with these features. If you're someone who doesn't want to be bothered by constant Live notifications, we suggest you opt out and set yourself free.