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Instagram brings live video broadcasts to all U.S. users

Instagram announced its Live video broadcasting features in November, which allow users to show your followers what you’re up to in real time, and also let users browse for Live videos happening at this very moment as selected by Instagram algorithmically. Now, it’s making these features available to all users in the U.S. over the course of the next few days.

The Live features live in Instagram Stories, and you can get to them by swiping into the Stories camera area and then tapping the toggle to enter “Live” mode. Live videos aren’t stored on your Instagram, in Stories or otherwise, meaning your followers can only see them while you’re actually broadcasting.

That’s the key difference between Instagram’s live video and that offered by others, including parent company Facebook. It’s a substantial one, too; users are going to treat truly ephemeral video a lot differently from something that’s taking place in the moment but that’s also designed to be made available for rewatching later on.

Since they’re so easy to miss, Instagram also has a new way to find live streams to watch — under the Explore tab there’s a new “Top Live” section for U.S. users that will show a selection of the best content currently on offer as adjudged by the company’s algorithm. That’s actually easier discovery than you’ll find on most competing live video platforms, which is a nice touch.

As mentioned, this will be rolling out over the next few days, so check your Instagram app for updates if you’re eager to go live or catch some broadcasts.

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