Courtesy of Cameron Norsworthy

How To Block People From Seeing Your Instagram Live Video, If You Value Your Privacy

If you haven't gotten the push notification yet, you're about to: "So-and-so just started a live video on Instagram!" The app's new feature is predicated on the notion that streaming live video is social media's future. 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? (The more I write, I honestly wonder: What are any of you really trying to stream here?) My bias aside, if you're streaming, you'll 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 Story; The same privacy settings apply. Here's a walk through on how to keep tabs on who's able to watch yours:

  1. Make sure you're on your own profile
  2. Tap the settings icon in the top right corner
  3. Tap "Story Settings" as listed under "Account"
  4. Tap "Hide My Story From"
  5. Go in. Take no prisoners. Tap one follower. Tap ten. Tap them all! (Again, though, 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:

Courtesy of Cameron Norsworthy

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. 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 save anywhere, so it's a pretty low-stakes operation you're running, here. 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 which might have your followers opting out on their own.