Sporting events, concerts, and other live events have been cancelled or postponed for months due to the social distancing and stay-at-home initiatives meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. But a lot of musicians have been turning to live streaming as a way to stay connected with their fans.
For many, Instagram Live has been the platform of choice — but up until recently that meant fans could only tune in on smartphones or tablets, because the Instagram website didn’t support live streams.
Now… it does.
It can still be a bit of a pain to actually find live streams. But if someone you navigate to the profile page for someone who is streaming right now, you’ll see a Live button below a pulsing version of their profile picture.
Click on it and you’ll be taken to the live stream — which will still probably be a phone-like vertical video that cannot be maximized.
It’s not exactly optimized for desktop browsers. But the good news is that comments won’t cover the video stream the way they do on a smartphone. Instead, they’ll show up on right side, along with an indicator letting you know how many people are currently watching.
Previously the only way to view Instagram Live in a web browse was to install a third-party plugin… but I never had much luck getting that method to work. To be honest, I never had much of an urge to watch Instagram Live video at all until recently though, when a number of artists I follow decided to use the platform for live streams.
If you still can’t stand vertical video though, plenty of artists are also using other platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Stageit for streaming these days.
The audio fidelity of concerts streamed from home may not be up to the usual standards, but they can be charmingly intimate and there’s something special about the communal experience of watching live with commenters offering real-time feedback from around the world.
via Android Police