Instagram has long been obsessed with the fleeting and immediate. They’ve built their entire business model on the idea that social media should be about sharing moments when they happen and not carefully crafting online personas. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the world has different ideas.
That’s why long after Periscope and Facebook started letting users save their live videos, Instagram finally started doing the same. Now, users can save their videos to their Instagram Stories and from their with other social media accounts.
But if you think that means Instagram is about to let users download other people’s live videos, then think again. The slow-to-adapt social media platform won’t even let you download other people’s photos. Luckily for you, and perhaps unluckily for those you follow, there are tools out there that let you work around Instagram’s limited functionality.
Knowing Your Options
First, there’s no one way to save an Instagram live video. However, if we go into the details of every single tool at your disposal, we’ll be here all week. Here’s a crash course in your video saving options.
First of all, a little tech-savvy creativity will get you everywhere when it comes to traversing social media platform limitations. After all, there are countless recording apps for desktops and mobile phones. In fact, the new iOS 11 Control Center comes with a built-in recording feature. Saving a live video from Instagram could be as easy as recording it while it’s happening or after it’s been saved to the user’s Story.
There’s an App for That
For what? Everything, that’s what. App designers have jumped on the coattails of apps like Instagram, promising to deliver functionality that the core app denies. This is no less true when it comes to saving Instagram live videos. Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, there’s an app that will help you. Consider IG Live for iPhone or StorySaver for Android. They are easy to use.
Chrome IG Story Extension
Chrome’s handy extension allows you to save live videos right to your desktop. This method for nabbing Instagram live videos has become increasingly more popular since it doesn’t require you to download a separate app and makes it possible to view live videos without anyone knowing you did. However, it is slightly more complicated than the other methods. In this article, we break it down for you, including how to install it and what to do with the files you download.
Downloading Chrome IG Story
Needless to say, you’ll need a Chrome browser.
1. Locate Chrome IG Story at the Chrome web extensions store.
2. Click Add to Chrome.
3. Click Add Extension.
Now just give it a moment to install. A pop-up window will alert you when it’s finished. At this point, you should be able to see an icon for the extension in the upper right hand corner of your browser window.
Using Chrome IG Story
It’s time to find a live video to download.
1. Go to Instagram.com and login.
2. Click on the extension icon mentioned above.
You should be able to see a list of Stories on the left-hand side. You can also use the search box on the right to search for an account. When you’ve located the Story you want, it’s time to download.
1. Click the download icon to the right of the chosen Story.
2. The video(s) will pop up on the right and download as a zip folder. You can view the contents on the right.
3. Open the zip folder.
The folder will contain one file for every item in the Story. Double click on a file to view the video or image therein. Note that this only lets you download Stories. If someone hasn’t saved their live video to their Story, then you can’t download it this way.
Finding Live Videos to Download
Maybe none of your friends have live videos available. This Chrome extension provides tools for navigating Instagram videos, helping you locate some worth saving.
- Friends – Available Stories from people you follow.
- Explore – Suggested Stories based on interests, location, and friends.
- Top Live – Popular live videos on Instagram
- Locations – Stories from different locations around the world.
You can also use the search function by clicking on the magnifying glass and searching by username, hashtag, or location. Just plug in your word(s) of choice and select one of the three.
You might also notice an eye-shaped icon next to the magnifying glass. This icon allows you to toggle anonymous viewing on and off. If it’s on, there should be a slash through the eye. This is the default setting. If it’s off, then the eye is slash free.
Anonymous viewing makes it possible to peak at people’s stories without them knowing that you’re watching. This, of course, also means that they’ll have no way of knowing that you downloaded their video. While this probably sounds appealing if you’re spying on your crush, you might still want to let them know that you’re saving their videos. After all, social media is about being social, not being sneaky.