Are you watching Instagram Live?

Written by Ashika Chauhan, Digital Creative Director. Illustrated by Jake Ward, Designer. 

Whilst the likes of Netflix can provide us with content that’s a great escape, live content has the unique quality of uniting us in a shared and interactive watching experience – alongside other people who are fellow fans. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen celebs, influencers, brands and publishers shift their social strategy to make more use of Instagram Live. Not only has it been a good way to reach out to their audiences, it’s helped them really connect with people at a time when so many of us are feeling isolated.

Here’s a roundup of some of my favourite streams so far, a demonstration that you don’t need a massive budget to do live content, but more a good understanding of your audience and what will be most interesting for them.


Oprah joined Jamie Oliver for a live cook-a-long, proving even the most well adorned of us can get flustered in the kitchen sometimes.


John Legend and Davina McCall joined Headspace for live a meditation session, immersing themselves in the strange sensation of meditating whilst thousands of fans were watching.


Bon Appetit has given us a behind-the-scenes look at their food editors’ kitchens as they check in with each other. Banter between the team is something that has helped build BA’s loyal following over the last couple of years and the two-way live feature on Instagram has provided the perfect functionality to make their content even more authentic during lockdown.


Children’s book author,  Oliver Jeffers has been entertaining kids and adults alike with his daily read-along sessions and for the first time revealed a brand new story before its release.


Jon Burgerman has been sharing some live doodling sessions, hacking the two-way live functionality as a different camera angle as opposed to communicating with someone else.

Mo Gilligan has been hosting his very own gameshow – Quarantine Games. Live from his home, he’s been giving away real prizes and by making use of the two-way live functionality he’s been able to feature fans as they get involved in playing the game.


Justin Baldoni has been hosting a series of live conversations with people who have fascinating life stories and can help us all with our mental health.

Jay Shetty and Tom Bilyeu got together to share it’s not just about the big and purposeful that can have a positive impact right now, with both of them admitting to spending much more time gaming.

Women’s Health UK have followed in Joe Wicks’ footsteps by carving out a timeslot for working out – if you’re looking to get active at lunchtime, here’s where it’s at.


Mulberry and Burberry have both been showcasing up-and-coming artists, giving them a platform to play an intimate gig from their homes.

We’ve been working with live formats for a few years at the agency, however it’s Instagram Live that I’ve concentrated on here, mainly because it’s seems to have taken on a life of its own as a unique channel over the last month. For those going live, Instagram will notify your audience and the two-way live feature seems to replicate so many of the video chats happening in our own lives right now – creating a sense of authenticity and relatability.

If you’re thinking about broadcasting on Instagram Live, have a think about how you’re adding value to your audience and consider what you can reveal about the people behind your brand, providing an opportunity for fans to connect with you on human level.

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