An explainer on how to block people from seeing your Instagram Live video.
Courtesy of Cameron Norsworthy

How To Block People From Seeing Your Instagram Live Video

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"So-and-so just started a live video on Instagram!" We've all seen that notification pop up on our phones by now. But what if you don't want, I don't know, all of your followers tuning in while you stream the credits to a low-key movie night or pan over the empty plates after a cute breakfast? Sometimes you want a huge audience and sometimes you don't. So if you're streaming, you'll likely want to know how to block people from seeing your Instagram Live video, so as to prevent everyone and their mother from tuning in on what is essentially a one-sided FaceTime.

To start, just think of your Live Video as an extension of your Instagram Story; the same privacy settings apply. Here's a walkthrough on how to keep tabs on who's able to watch yours:

  1. Make sure you're on your own profile and then tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner
  2. Tap "Settings" and then go to "Privacy"
  3. Tap "Story" as listed under "Interactions"
  4. Tap "Hide My Story From"
  5. Go in. Take no prisoners. Tap one follower. Tap 10. Tap them all! (I really don't see the point of that. What are you hiding, here?)

If you do it right, hiding your Story and Live videos from one follower will look like this:


A quicker route? When you're looking at who's watched your regular Instagram Story, tap the three dots next to their name, and then "Hide Story From [Whoever]." Boom, done.

OK, I have to ask. Why Instagram Live? Do you have thousands of followers but still need an ego boost? Are you seeking some specific medium with which to show off, I don't know, your impeccably winged liner? Then fine, I guess I get why you'd use Instagram Live, which by the way, lets you stream in real time for up to one hour. Are you famous and looking for an easy way to respond to your fans' inquiries? Well, a) Welcome to my article, thank you for reading it, does this make me famous, too? and b) I'll watch your Instagram Live, please don't block me.

At the end of the day, Instagram Live videos don't automatically upload anywhere, so it's a pretty low-stakes operation you're running, here. However, if you do want to save your live video, simply tap the downward pointing arrow to save to your camera roll and you can also then share it to your Story afterwards. "Keep in mind that when you save your live video to your camera roll, only the video is saved, and not things like comments, likes and viewers," Instagram explains. "It may take a minute for your live video to save to your phone, especially for longer videos."

If your Instagram account is some sacred circle and your live streams are meant for selected eyes only, then, well, hide until you're satisfied. But remember, when you do take the plunge, all of your (unblocked and un-hidden from) followers could get the message that you're going live.

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