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Stream to Instagram from your PC: What you need to know!

Luis VigilApril 08, 20213 mins read
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Sometimes when you’re producing a live stream, people want you to stream to every platform at once. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, some random server. “No problem!” you say, “I’ll get a restreaming server with custom RTMP access!” and it’s all going great until you go to set up the Instagram stream. “How do I…where? How? Who?” Well, fear not because right here we’re going to discuss how you can stream to Instagram from your PC!

“Why can’t I just stream directly to Instagram like other services?” is a perfectly reasonable question you might ask yourself. Well, because they want you to use their phone app and unless you’re a celebrity, you probably don’t have access to the RTMP or stream key you’ll need to broadcast to your page. For this, we will have to go the third-party route! There are a number of services out there and some of them are paid, but the easiest I’ve found is with yellowduck.tv

A view of an iPhone being held up with someone looking to stream to instagram from the PC.

Setup

Before we go into how to set up Yellowduck to stream to Instagram from your PC, we’ll need to do some configuration with XSplit Broadcaster first. The first thing you’ll want to do is set your resolution to 720×1080 as this is the preferred resolution for Instagram, the recommended FPS is 30. You can do this by..

Clicking the Resolution Drop Down Menu in the Top Right > Resolution > Add Resolution > Custom Resolution > Input 720×1080.

In the same drop down menu > Frame Rate > 30FPS.

Now you’ll have to set up your sources to accommodate this resolution via cropping, which is easily done by holding the CTRL key after selecting the source in your main window. If you are still planning to produce 16:9 content you can try rotating it, but you may want to try laying it out with borders since most people are viewing Instagram in portrait mode.

Live social eating streams could happen from your PC as you stream to instagram from your PC.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Yellowduck Setup

Now that you have your production configured let’s get the stream output setup! First, download the Yellowduck client and install it, it will ask you to log in to your Instagram account and then generate a stream key. Don’t do that just yet as we have a few bits to do in XSplit Broadcaster first then we will come back to it! We will need to create a custom RTMP output in XSplit Broadcaster and set the bitrate for the video and audio.

Click the Broadcast drop down menu > Set Up New Output > Find More Outputs > Search and Install Custom RTMP > Select Custom RTMP from the Setup New Output menu.

Here you can name the Output Instagram or whatever works for you! On codec select NVENC h.2624 if you have an NVIDIA graphics card that supports it, if not x264. For video, the Bitrate limit is currently 2000 and for audio, under Audio Encoding, set the bitrate to 128.

Now, in the Yellowduck client click generate stream key as you were prompted to do when logging in, which will now give you the RTMP URL and Stream Key which you’ll paste into their respective boxes in XSplit Broadcaster. After this, click “okay” and you’re ready to stream to Instagram from your PC!

Conclusions

Since this is quite a unique setup for streaming to a platform, you’ll likely need to have a dedicated encoder, like a separate instance of XSplit Broadcaster for broadcasting content to Instagram, so be sure to factor this into any costs you may have with your multi-stream production. Also, be sure to note that this is more of a workaround until Instagram decides to possibly make live streaming from a PC officially supported!

Over on our YouTube channel, we also show you how to record footage for Instagram!

Luis VigilLouis Vigil has been working on live stream productions for a variety of gaming events for over 10 years! When not broadcasting an event somewhere in the world, Louis also produces educational content for people looking to get into broadcasting on his Offcast YouTube channel.More from this Author