Instagram Live Vs. Facebook Live

Facebook live or Instagram live? Which is the best option for your business? Let’s figure it out together.

Going live on any platform is a great way for your brand to build engagement with your followers. It also allows you to connect with your followers in real-time and be more open and raw with who your brand is with your consumers than if you were to put out an edited video.

With the many options available to businesses with the option to go live i can become confusing to know which platform you should focus your live content on. We’ve compared the pros and cons of going live on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube so that you can choose the option that best suits your brand.

Instagram Live

Instagram has not only a live feature, but also a stories feature. These stories appear as circles across a bar on the top of a users Instagram feed and is shown in order of the most recent updated story. The great thing about doing an Instagram live is that your ‘circle’ appears first on the stories bar with a ‘live’ tag underneath it so that your followers know that you are currently live.

While your are live in Instagram, your followers can leave comments that appear as a scrolling bar on the screen, as well as like your content, increasing the engagement on your page. The downside however, is that once you have gone live, you can only record for upto 1 hour at a time and your live stream will disappear after 24 hours. You are able to download this live stream to your mobile phone, but it will no longer be visible on your profile to your followers.

Using Instagram live is a great way to host Q&As, do behind the scenes tours, stream spur of the moment exclusive content, to host limited time 24 hour offers and sales exclusive to live viewers, or to address an issue that has been circling your brand.


  • Followers will receive a mobile notification when you go live
  • Video shows up within Stories section at top of application, and Icon shows “LIVE” when video is in progress
  • Replays of Live videos remain at top of Instagram app for 24 hours (marked with play button)
  • Can be saved to camera roll after the stream ends


Live stream disappears after 24 hours

  • Can only stream for a maximum of one hour
  • Can only stream live via your mobile phone or ipad/tablet device
  • Analytics is restricted to viewer count


Facebook Live

It is known that Facebook’s algorithm favours video content – live video content is seen as even more favourable. When going live on Facebook, almost all of your followers will receive a notification that your are currently streaming live. When a follower clicks on this notification they are instantly taken to the live video where they can watch your stream. Similar to Instagram, viewers are able to comment and like the stream in real time.

Unlike Instagram however, once a Facebook live has ended you have the option to save the video to your page permanently. This gives you the ability to boost a live stream video post streaming to reach more of your followers and increase engagement on your page. You are also able to stream for upto 4 hours on Facebook, 4 times longer than Instagram.


  • Flexibility to stream from a mobile device, tablet or desktop.
  • Stream live for uto 4 hours
  • Video is saved to your timeline post streaming
  • Video can be boosted for increased engagement after being streamed live
  • Analytics for the video provide more depth than Instagram


  • Notification may not be sent to all of your followers/fans
  • Technical issues
  • To get the most reach and engagement you will need to spend some money on advertising the video post live stream

Best practice when going live on any account

Here are a few measures that you should take prior to and during your live stream on either platform.

  • Announce that you will be going live prior to going live
  • Have a rough overview of what you will be discussing or live streaming
  • Engage with users in real time

Specially for Facebook:

  • Write an engaging headline and description
  • Tag relevant people and accounts afterwards

So which live platform should you use?

Both platforms should be used by bands for marketing. It is down to what you are promoting and where you have the most followers that will determine the right answer for you.

For example, an interview is something you would like to keep on your social profile, so this is something we would recommend streaming on Facebook. However, you can stream a quickfire session on Instagram with behind the scenes content of that interview.

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