The platform is quickly starting to feel like the new TV and with more people staying home in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s also become a way for many celebrities to stay engaged with their audiences.
Here’s how it works: An Instagram user can “go Live” from their page, enabling followers to see them in real time and comment. Those who are Live can allow others to join them and produce a split screen for followers to watch.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and, according to the social media giant, there are currently 800 million daily active users across the company’s platforms. Instagram Live views in the United States increased more 70% from February to March, the company states.
Last week, the company announced a new tool that allows people to raise funds for causes they care about directly within Instagram Live, with 100% of the funds raised going directly to the designated charitable organizations.
Several celebs have already tapped into the giving power of IG Live.
Adam Alpert, chief executive officer of Disruptor Records, told CNN that in these times of uncertainty and fear, IG Lives are providing positivity and entertainment to the public..
He said it’s also incredibly valuable to artists who are limited in how they can interact with their audiences during the pandemic.
Alpert’s label includes artists such as The Chainsmokers and Dove Cameron. He said he’s been encouraging his acts to not only conduct their own IG Lives, but also hop on other Lives “where there are new audiences to tap into.”
Ryan Press is president, A&R, in the US for global music company Warner/Chappell Music and has worked with the likes of Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Wiz Khalifa.
He told CNN IG Lives have provided “a break from the seriousness of everything going on” and sparked a great deal of creativity in the music industry.
“These battles slash celebrations, I think, are probably one of the biggest tools ever to reengage different people,” Press said. “The power of [IG Lives] has been insane to just celebrate music again that was starting to be overlooked.”
Teddy Riley and his talents could fall in that category.
Best known for his work in the 1980s and ’90s with his groups Guy and Blackstreet, as well as for writing music for Michael Jackson and a plethora of other artists, Riley has seen a resurgence in his career since his IG battle, which he said at one point had more than half a million people viewing (Instagram does not release data on individual IG Lives).
There’s been so much interest that Riley said he’s planning on doing an IG Live with R&B singer Keith Sweat, as well as teaching sessions.
“I’m going to be doing a tech talk, I call it ‘Teddy Talk,’ and I’m just showing people how I do music or how I made this song or how I did life,” he said.