By Andrew Hutchinson, Content and Social Media Manager, Social Media Today.
This could be a valuable addition – Instagram has added a new option to schedule upcoming IG Live broadcasts in the app, with users then able to tap through to get a reminder notification on the day of the broadcast.
As you can see in these examples, broadcasters will now be able to schedule an upcoming stream, up to 90 days in advance, from the live composer, which can include a title description, as well as product tags, if you’re looking to promote such in your stream.
Which Instagram is looking to develop – over the past month, Instagram has run a series of live-stream shopping events, with the immediacy and interactivity of the format helping to improve discovery, and drive purchase activity in the app.
TikTok, too, is exploring the same, after seeing success with live shopping in China, which is really the template for this new push, and facilitating more shopping behavior in each app.
Indeed, live-shopping has become a major element in China’s retail sector – as McKinsey reported earlier this year:
“In China, live commerce has transformed the retail industry and established itself as a major sales channel in less than five years. In a 2020 survey, two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they had bought products via livestream in the past year.”
Which is where Instagram and TikTok see potential, with McKinsey estimating that live-commerce-initiated sales could account for as much as 10% to 20% of all e-commerce by 2026.
The option to schedule your streams provides even more potential on this front, with users, as noted, then able to register for reminders, which will be sent through to them the day before the broadcast, then 15 minutes before the stream begins.
It may not seem like a major revelation, but given the projections, and the potential opportunity, this is a significant update. Of course, there have always been alternate promotional options to raise awareness of your upcoming streams. But the fact that this is built into Instagram, and provides automated reminders in the app, is an important update, which could provide major value for brands looking to maximize connection in the app.
It’ll definitely be worth an experiment – Instagram’s rolling out live scheduling to all users from today.
In addition to this, Instagram's also announced a new Live practice option, which enables users to check their lighting, get used to the camera, etc., without actually broadcasting.
Broadcasters will also be able to connect with their guests ahead of time in practice mode, and test their connection - which, as anyone who's ever streamed before will know, is a key consideration in your process.
The new Live practice mode will be rolled out in the coming months.