Currently, Instagram does not officially support direct live streaming outside their mobile application. As soon as streaming to Instagram over RTMP is officially supported, we will add it to our supported services.

However, you can still live stream to Instagram with Restream using a third-party service like Yellow Duck, which allows you to get an RTMP link and stream key. The stream key is unique for every stream and because of that, it needs to be generated every time before a new stream goes live.

In order to set up streaming to Instagram, you will need a Custom RTMP channel with the details provided by YellowDuck. You can follow this guide on how to set up and use Yellow Duck with Restream or the steps below.

How to go live on Instagram with Restream via YellowDuck

  1. Download and install YellowDuck.

  2. Start the YellowDuck application on your device and log in with your Instagram credentials.

    Note: If you have two-factor authentication enabled on Instagram, please disable it to be able to log in to YellowDuck.

    Login to Instagram with YellowDuck
  3. Add a Custom RTMP channel to your Restream Dashboard.

    Add a Custom RTMP channel to Restream

    Important Note: Using YellowDuck would be considered a Custom Destination and would require one of our paid plans.

  4. Copy your RTMP URL and stream key from YellowDuck into the fields of your Custom RTMP channel and click Save.

    Copy RTMP details from YellowDuck
    Custom RTMP Channel Details

  5. Click on the "Start Broadcast" button on the YellowDuck application.

  6. Go live with Restream Studio or via your encoder with your Custom RTMP channel enabled within 2 minutes (starting from the moment you clicked "Start Brodcast" on YellowDuck) and that's it! You're live streaming to Instagram.

    Note: You cannot view your own stream on Instagram. If you want to check whether you are live, access your profile from a different Instagram account.

  7. To end the stream, click the "Stop Broadcast" button on YellowDuck and turn off the stream from the Restream Studio or your encoder.

    Stop Broadcast on YellowDuck

Streaming Requirements

  1. Because the Instagram stream key is valid for only a couple of minutes, you need to start the actual stream on Restream within 2 minutes after clicking "Start Broadcast" on YellowDuck. You need to reconfigure your channel before each stream by generating a new key from YellowDuck since each stream key is unique and will expire.

  2. You cannot view your own stream using your IG account. You need another IG account if you wish to do so.

  3. You can also live-stream your pre-recorded videos to Instagram. You would need at least a Restream Professional plan. Just like with regular live streaming, you would need to add your stream key to the channel two minutes before the scheduled event.

  4. Videos on IGTV and stories are shown in the portrait orientation (the 9:16 ratio). We recommend you stick to this ratio when streaming to Instagram.

  5. Instagram only supports portrait mode streams - for horizontal streams, only the middle part will be captured. To centre a horizontal stream and avoid cropped edges, you can also use our transcoding feature with these settings.

Tip: If you are planning to stream to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, it's best to optimize your stream to Instagram format (Portrait mode). We don't modify the video stream that you send to us in any way. If you optimize the format of your stream to Facebook (Horizontal mode), it could look a bit cropped on Instagram. However, if you optimize the stream to Instagram, Facebook would just show the black lines at the edges of your stream.

Note: Yellow Duck is not affiliated with or endorsed by either Restream or Instagram. Use it at your own risk.

How to update your Custom RTMP channel with a new key

If you've previously gone live on Instagram and you already have a Custom RTMP channel set up, fewer steps are required!

1. You'll want to access YellowDuck again to grab a new stream key. Each stream key is valid for one session only so you need to do this every time before you go live!

Copy RTMP details from YellowDuck

2. Then you only need to edit your existing Custom RTMP channel; just paste the new key and click Save!

Update Custom RTMP Channel

Pro tip: You don't need to delete the channel and create a new one every time - all you need to do is update it! Once that is done, you're ready to start the broadcast as you usually would. Just take a look at Step 5 here to refresh your memory 👀

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