Instagram Live now lets streamers designate a live moderator

Instagram is finally catching up to TikTok and Twitch.

overweight young man filming videos at home and talking to camera set on ring light
Phynart Studio/E+/Getty Images

Since the launch of Instagram Live in 2016, the photo-sharing app has morphed into a place for mundane life broadcasts, iconic celebrity comments, and unedited interviews (like Ziwe’s squirm-inducing series that led to her late-night talk show on Showtime). Livestreams can be serious or casual or anything in between, and as people locked down amid COVID-19, Instagram Live saw skyrocketing usage. The comments, though, aren’t always pleasant.

“Anyone who's done a Live knows the managing the comments can become unwieldy while you do your thing,” Tweeted Instagram’s Head Adam Mosseri.

While viewers watch creators cook or sing or chat or, well, whatever they want, they can chime in with comments that instantly display on the screen. If comments turn sour, the person who is broadcasting can remove a user from the broadcast or block their account. But when a person is trying to entertain swaths of faceless viewers, monitoring the chat can be impossible.

“So today,” says Mosseri, “we're launching Live Moderator, which lets you assign someone as a moderator when you go Live so they can manage the comments on your behalf.”

Hopefully, the moderation feature is better than this mock-up from Instagram (look closely for a few notable mistakes)

How-to — Creators can add a moderator by tapping the menu icon on the comment bar and clicking the user they want to choose as a moderator.

Previously, the reigning solution for trolls on Instagram Live was disabling comments altogether. Twitch and TikTok have already offered the ability to assign a comments moderator, but, as social media companies work on the nearly impossible problem of implementing sensible moderation, they keep taking peeks out of each other’s books. If Instagram’s taking orders, we’d appreciate an option to go live to close friends only... but we’ll take what we can get.