The new feature will be familiar to Facebook or Twitter live streamers, and it makes live video on Instagram a bit more useful for capturing memories.
Instagram’s live video feature is now a bit less ephemeral, thanks to the Facebook-owned social media company’s announcement on Monday that its users can now save any live videos they broadcast through the app.
The new capability more closely aligns Instagram’s video feature set with that of its parent company and rival Twitter, both of which allow live video streams to be saved after they’re broadcast. Instagram users will have to update to version 10.12 of the iOS or Android apps, which are available now.
Instagram clearly intends the new feature as a bit of an afterthought: you won’t see the option to save footage until after you’ve ended a live stream, and tapping “save” won’t keep the video’s comments, likes, or viewing statistics. In other words, saving Instagram videos will mostly be useful for people who accidentally stumble across something memorable while they’re filming.
The new save option is only available to the broadcaster, which means that your friends don’t have the option to save your video. Since the footage is stored locally on your smartphone, your ability to save will depend on how much free space your device has. Instagram won’t impose a length limit for saved videos, although the app’s help center cautions that “it may take a minute for a live video to save to your phone, especially for longer videos.”
Live video arrived on the Instagram app in December, and at the time the company heralded its disappearing nature as a positive differentiator designed to make users “feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.” The now-defunct Meerkat live-streaming app had a similar setup, with live broadcasts initially dissapearing when they were finished.