I always get notifications when the friends and celebs I follow are going live on Instagram Stories, but rarely do I find myself in a situation where I can drop everything to watch live. With today's update, Instagram seems to be acknowledging this common dilemma by making it possible to watch "live" stories after the fact.
Now, anyone who goes live will be able to share a replay of that video to their Instagram Story. It's easy: Just tap the "share" button that appears on the screen after your live video is complete. The footage will remain in your Story for 24 hours, like all other Story posts.
You'll be able to tell whether someone you follow has shared a replay of a live video in their Story, because a play button (the right facing arrow) will appear beneath their photo at the top of your Instagram feed. If you see an arrow at the top of the photo as well, that means that there are multiple replays in one Story.
With the new replay feature, a timestamp in the upper left-hand corner indicates when the person was originally live. Tapping the right-hand arrow lets you fast forward 15 seconds, while tapping the left hand arrow rewinds the footage. As for numbers, the video will show a cumulative number of how many people watched the live video and the replay.
While watching a replay, all of the original comments will appear along the bottom of the screen. If you want to leave a comment, your comment will go to the person as a direct message rather than appearing in the live video's comment.
All of the existing features of taking a live Instagram video are still available: If you want to save a video after filming, you can do so by tapping the download button in the upper right-hand corner. Tapping the toggle above the "share" button will allow you to get rid of the video.
Today's update doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to catch every live video — that's ultimately dependent on whether the user who filmed it decides to share the footage again using the replay option. But, if someone is hoping to expand their video's audience, chances are good that it will show up in their Story.