5th August 2021 - By: Marc Luther Thomas

Facebook Live VS Instagram Live

Facebook Live vs Instagram Live

Facebook Live was new and intriguing when the functionality first landed in 2016 but it took a while for users to get the hang of lives. There was an almost awkward, video-call feel to many early broadcasts and some infamously dark moments too.

Not anymore, in the five years since Facebook launched the feature it’s been adopted as the norm. Nearly all social platforms offer the functionality and a new generation of ‘livers’ has well and truly taken hold.

It can be used to great effect too. Going live reaps healthy engagement metrics in a short space of time, kicking the algorithms into action and prolonging the reach of your content, brand or product. It’s why practice of going live has generated a new dawn of influencers but it’s being innovatively utilised by brands too, no more than in the sports space.

Here it offers invaluable opportunities to enrich fan content, amplifying the entire digital experience. Whether it’s a simple QnA session, a pre-competition discussion or a grand, staged event, going live provides a direct link between a club and its fans.

The question isn’t really should you host lives, it’s how. There’s a multitude of channels offering lives and each holds their own merits for different segments of your audience but to keep things simple, this article’s focusing on the two most popular – Facebook and Instagram.


At Nifty, we like to plant the seed for organic growth in everything we do. We love throwing live content into our strategies because it immediately engages an audience, drives conversation and generates an organic boost.

This is perfect for the Niftyverse, especially when we ensure key messaging is shared throughout the content. That initial boost amplifies your message thanks to FOMO, fear of missing out – it’s a real thing – but there are subtle differences between Facebook and Instagram when it comes to the post-event, organic growth.

Both platforms offer onsite and push notifications telling users an account’s going live, both show real-time viewers and allows them to engage with the video as its broadcast. We’ve all seen lives and know how they look but this is where the main difference comes in for us. On Instagram, when you comment, nobody else sees outside of the video. Whereas, on Facebook, when you engage there’s a chance your like-minded friends and family will see it too.

This is key to organic growth, especially once the broadcast’s complete – which brings me onto the next difference. While on Facebook you can save your videos, on Instagram they only save if you have IGTV, where you can access archive content in Insta’s iconic but formulaic UX (or UI).

Instagram’s also lacking in optimisation opportunities. Facebook allows users to compile their video content into playlists, with descriptions and tags, all driving your content towards the right audiences, while Instagram is very limited in this respect – you need to rely on the algorithms more.


That’s not to say Instagram Live doesn’t have its benefits and for us there are usually two things to consider.
Firstly, the option to limit the time a video’s visible can be handy. You need to share a replay of your video to IGTV if you want it saved. If you don’t do this, the video’s only available for 24 hours – this could be used to build a buzz ahead of an event or competition.

The second thing? Well, if Instagram is your main platform, where you engage your audience everyday and share all your content, then it would be detrimental to the cause to start broadcasting on Facebook.


At the end of the day, Facebook Live wins for us. There are more options when it comes to how you create and distribute your content, it offers better analysis and the all-important organic-growth element but that’s not to say we don’t enjoy an Instagram Live too.

Used properly, Instagram Live offers huge potential to talk to your audience, fans, customers, clients and build a buzz around an upcoming event or milestone. It’s more intimate and, in a way, simpler but the opportunity to plant the seed for organic growth is limited.

That’s why, overall, Facebook Live takes the crown but if you have any questions about either of these platforms, or the multitude of options out there, give us a shout. We’re proud to build compelling content that resonates and, ultimately, converts.

If you’d like to know more hit here.

It’s time to be Nifty.