Instagram Live Vs Facebook Live

I was stoked a couple of weeks ago when I learned I FINALLY got access to Instagram Live.

I’ve been an avid live broadcaster for a couple of years, now, ever since Periscope came on the scene. It was pretty clear to me right off the bat that live video was going to be big in the social media world, and I got into it pretty quick.

instagram live vs facebook live

I stopped doing Periscope for various reasons last year, and since then, FB Live has been my tool of choice. I was pretty jazzed when Instagram announced that they were getting into the live-streaming game, and waited impatiently to get my update, which finally came a couple weeks ago.

I got a delivery of a new meal-prep service a week ago, and thought it would present the perfect opportunity to do an unboxing video live on Instagram.

And so I did. I wish I could show it to you, but I can’t, because Instagram’s live videos expire as soon as they finish.

I made a chart comparing Instagram Live Vs Facebook Live:

Feature Facebook Live Instagram Live
Pre-Scheduling Broadcasts NO (coming) NO
Announce to Followers YES YES
Post copy when done YES NO
Web broadcast YES NO (mobile only)
Analytics YES NO (only while broadcasting)
Time limits 1 hour 1 hour

To be fair, Facebook Live didn’t start out amazing, it needed to put some work in and improve the platform, but I feel like Instagram’s Live video is weak, and I see no reasons to jump ship from FB Live at this time.

You’ll see a little “live” icon light up on your Instagram app when someone you know goes live, and you’ll get a notification as well in your home screen. But you have to log in and watch right away. If you don’t, you won’t have another chance to watch the video.

I get why they are doing this, creating FOMO. It’s a popular marketing technique, but honestly, I am way too busy. I have too much going on. I want to consume my social media when I want to consume my social media.

The live broadcast is gone when you’re finished. It feels a little wasteful, actually. I also didn’t have nearly as many people login and watch as do when I do a Facebook video, and I didn’t have anyone commenting on my video at all, which means engagement and views were low.

I’m not sure exactly how many people watched my video (because analytics don’t exist after the broadcast), but I think there were about 10, or maybe less. Whenever I do a FB live video, I usually have up to 50 or so watching live, and most of my videos get somewhere between 500-800 views overall (many of which happen after the fact).

This reminds me of when Twitter first introduced Vine. It felt to me like a product they had rushed to market, and it wasn’t the greatest. It needed work. Instagram’s live offering feels like the same to me.

I wanted to finish up this post with another comparison. FB recently changed its live options so that you can now do Live broadcasts from your laptop as opposed to just from your phone.

This was all pretty convenient, as I wanted to test the video quality of my new Surface Pro 4, and Michael wanted to taste-test these really sour candies live on the air. Here’s the broadcast we did via the Surface Pro and Facebook Live on the web.

Just to compare the quality of the picture, here’s one we did on my phone.




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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 2

    1. I’m guessing views, primarily. You can divide views into two categories: views while you were live and views after you’ve finished. I would also look at any clickthroughs that resulted (assuming I had a link to click in the video description). Bear in mind, though, that Facebook counts a view after 3 seconds, whereas a YouTube view is only counted after 30 seconds. You could also track engagements–how many comments you got on your video.

      I’m guessing FB analytics primarily, as much as I love Hootsuite, I don’t use it for analytics at all. Maybe one of the bigger analytics programs if you have it, like Sprout Social?

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