Instagram Live vs. Facebook Live: Which Platform Best Suits You?

Let’s face it. With all these social media platforms coming out with different ways to stream live to your audience, it’s getting harder and harder to choose which one is best for your brand. Instagram Live or Facebook Live, you ask? Here is some information to help you decide.



As of now, you’ve probably finally gotten used to the Instagram stories feature and being able to post artsy boomerang videos that are only visible for 24 hours, but wait... it gets better. Recently, Instagram decided to add a nifty new live feature on their app, that has a similarity to Snapchat, in that the video disappears after the broadcaster ends the live stream. Yup. That’s right, it disappears forever.


Broadcasting live to your audience on the app is relatively easy. At the very top of your newsfeed you click the “your story” profile photo (it has the + sign on it). It will take you to Instagram stories that will allow you to choose between four options: Live, Normal, Boomerang, and Hands-Free. Slide to the Live option and click “Start Live Video” and just like that you are broadcasting live!


Now, you’re wondering “Well, how do my followers know I am live right now?” Simple. At the top of their newsfeed where the stories are located, your profile image will show up with the word “LIVE” underneath so your followers know you are broadcasting.  If that doesn’t reassure you, Instagram also sends notifications to the followers that have their live broadcast notifications on. 


Instagram live allows your audience to comment and send unlimited hearts to show that they like what they are seeing... If you want to broadcast without audience interaction, there is also an option to turn off commenting. You are also able to see how many viewers your stream has, on the top right corner of your screen. Once you are ready to end your broadcast, you tap the end button on the top right corner and click “End Live Video” at the bottom of the screen.


Facebook has introduced their live broadcasting feature for quite a while ago. It quickly upstaged Periscope (A live broadcasting app owned by Twitter that saves videos for 24+ hours) once it came out. Facebook live allows your broadcast to your friends or page followers, alike in real time.


Broadcasting live on your brand’s page is super easy! To start a live broadcast on your page, you simply click the publish drop down menu and select “Live Video”. Unlike Instagram Live, Facebook Live allows you to write a short description of what your live broadcast is about you start streaming.  Once you add your caption you will be able to start your broadcast.


When it comes to how your followers are notified about your live stream, Facebook has introduced a tab that shows what friends and pages you are following that are currently live streaming as well as, a “Suggested For You” section that recommends live broadcasts. Followers will also be able to see your broadcast if they are scrolling through their newsfeed as well.   


Facebook Live has more ways for your followers to interact to what they are seeing on your stream, than Instagram does. Facebook has reactions such as: Like, Love, Haha (which is a laughing face), Sad (crying face), and Angry (angry face). Your followers can send unlimited reactions throughout your broadcast as well as being able to leave comments. Once your broadcast is over you will have your broadcast archived in the video section of your uploads, which allows your followers to view your broadcast if they didn’t get a chance to view it live.


All in all, Facebook and Instagram both have amazing live broadcasting features. When it’s time to choose which platform would be better to stream on, think about it this way… Is the content you are about to broadcast about very important? Valuable information that you want everyone to know about?  Go with Facebook Live, it’ll allow your followers to view it whenever they like because it will be archived on your page. Now, If you just want to interact with your followers, maybe a random Q&A session? Go with Instagram Live. Quick, easy, and to the point.


Lastly, Have fun! Interact with your followers, be personable. Let them know you’re listening and you care. You might not think that it matters, but interacting with the people who support you goes a long way.

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