Instagram hints at plans to help artists monetise livestreams

"We have some plans in the works to support creators and artists using Live. Stay tuned."


Words by: Billy Ward

Instagram executives have been seen responding to a Twitter thread about the platform allowing users to monetise their livestreams, promising “some plans in the works”.

The ‘Instagram Live’ feature, which allows users to broadcast in real time to their followers, has proved a useful tool for musicians with a significant following to make announcements, interact with fans, and boost their online profiles at the same time.

During the current lockdown period more and more artists have been turning to the Instagram Live feature to let their voices be heard, with some drawing huge crowds of people to tune into their livestreams.

Mobile game developer Neer Sharma took to Twitter to share his ideas about how the platform could optimise their ‘Live’ feature to allow artists to earn money from their streams.

Sharma tweeted: “Instagram Live has seen @torylanez pull in 200k concurrent viewers and @jamesblake pull 30k, but it offers no tools for monetisation.”

“In a post-pandemic world without touring, many of our favourite artists need to find new revenue sources.”

Sharma’s ideas included a feature which would allow fans to purchase merch while watching the stream; an option for viewers to pay a fee for a virtual “meet and greet” which would automatically send the footage back to the buyer afterwards; the ability to purchase virtual gifts which could add to the atmosphere of the live performance for everyone watching, and a VIP feature which could highlight subscribers’ comments and activity and remain visible for longer than those of regular users.

The thread gained attention from some of Instagram’s top employees who hinted that this is an area the platform had been looking into already.

VP of Product, Vishal Shah, replied: “We are investing a lot into Instagram Live and have been thinking about many of the areas you’ve highlighted. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come!”

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri also added to the thread: “We have some plans in the works to support creators and artists using Live. Stay tuned.”

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