Instagram Live is a live video streaming option through the Instagram app that was only somewhat popular at first. Since Insta has added the option to save an Instagram Live video to your story, it has become a much more popular feature. Rewatching and allowing people to still see the live stream without having to catch it live makes the whole feature much more appealing.
Any social media influencer that has done a live stream will tell you that it is a much different experience from just putting out a video. Being able to react to your audience in real-time and feeding off their energy makes each experience uniquely fun.
It isn’t all upside, though. Just like you can benefit from seeing all the emojis and fun comments from people while you are streaming, you can also run into people leaving a lot of inappropriate comments. These can range from people being a bit too vulgar to being outright hateful.
It can throw you off your rhythm and make your content worse, and it can make your audience uncomfortable. The internet is full of trolls, and sometimes ignoring them isn’t enough, you have to cut them off from being able to ruin everyone’s day.
We’ve already discussed how to disable comments on Facebook posts, and luckily, you can achieve a similar effect. Notably, there are different ways to hide offensive comments depending on if you are the person hosting the live streaming or if you are the one watching Instagram Live.
The good news is that whichever side of the live streaming process you are on, you can do this through the Instagram app that is available for both Android and Apple devices. Let’s look at the main way the people hosting an Instagram Live stream can hide comments first.
Hosting an Instagram Live Stream With Comments Off
Starting with the most extreme of your options, if you are hosting an Instagram Live stream, there is an option to just completely disable people from leaving comments. This is a bit extreme, and it honestly ruins a bit of the fun since it stops people from being able to participate in the fun.
If you are a particularly popular Instagram account, you might have to do this anyway just to keep from things becoming too hectic to handle. The good news is you can turn on commenting again while you are streaming, and turn off commenting mid-stream if you so desire.
So, yes, it is a bit extreme, but you aren’t locked into the decision from the start. Here’s how you can turn off comments altogether:
Start by opening the Instagram app and start a live video by opening the Instagram Stories feature. At the bottom of the screen, there is a text box where you can make comments, and at the right of this text box are three vertical dots. Tapping on these dots will bring out a pop-up menu.
One of the options you should see as the live stream host will be “Turn Off Commenting.” As you might expect, selecting this will turn off the comments.
Turning the comments back on is the same process. Again, in the comments window on the bottom right of the screen, tap on the vertical dots. This time, the option will say “Turn On Commenting.” Selecting this will show comments on the Instagram Live stream again.
Blocking Comments as a Live Stream Viewer
It used to be possible to disable comments from your perspective if you were watching someone else’s Instagram Live stream. For whatever reason, Instagram decided to remove this feature, so now, as long as you are using the Instagram app, you are stuck with the inability to turn off the comments on a live stream you are watching.
However, if you have access to a desktop that can run Google Chrome, and you don’t mind watching a live stream from your computer, then you can work around Instagram’s inherent restrictions. As we’ve discussed before on similar topics, Instagram’s desktop client is usually a much worse experience than the app, but this is one of the rare exceptions where the desktop version can go a bit further.
Chrome Extensions to Block Certain Comments
If you are not already aware of the wonderful world of Chrome extensions, then hopefully this will be your introduction to a whole new world of possibilities.
Disabling annoying comments on any platform is a more common desire than you might expect. So, there is an extension for just about every social media site that can help you fight the trolls, including some for Instagram Live. A somewhat common choice is called Shut Up: Comment Blocker, but there are a few to choose from if you find another one that you prefer.
The basic idea behind this kind of software is to hide the disruptive comments from your vision, whether you are hosting the stream or just watching it. Note, this means that the troublemakers can still leave their comments and other people without filtering extensions will probably still see them.
This might sound like you aren’t solving the problem, but you’d be surprised how quickly hateful people on the internet will get bored and move on if you just don’t acknowledge them, and what better way to not acknowledge them than to not be aware they exist?
Other people watching your live stream might still notice some people giving you grief in the comments of a live stream, but that won’t be a huge concern to you as an influencer or social media presence. Someone being hateful towards you is not going to convince a fan to stop watching you.
Filtering the Content
Most of these Chrome extensions give you the ability to hide the comments based on some specific words that you tell it to block. Of course, some of them can just completely remove comments from your vision based on what social media platform you are using. The tricky part is maintaining an adequate list of words to automatically block annoying people from your vision because people are clever when it comes to finding ways to break the rules.
Of course, at any point, you can toggle these extensions off and on, so if you ever feel the need to look at some of the comments that include the words that you have blocked, then you are free to do so. If you venture into the block comments and find it was a bad idea, just go back into the extension’s settings and toggle the block back on.