If you’re active on Instagram, you may have noticed colorful rings appearing around some users’ profile pictures. From purple and yellow to rainbow shades, these rings obviously signify something important.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The bright ring around an Instagram profile photo indicates that the user is live streaming at that moment. The ring color correlates to a filter they chose for the broadcast.

In this in-depth article, we’ll break down everything these special Instagram rings mean, how to use ring filters when going live, and tips for watching live streams on the platform.

The Meaning of Profile Picture Rings on Instagram

Indicates a User Is Live Streaming Presently

Have you ever noticed a colorful ring around someone’s profile picture on Instagram? Well, that ring actually has a special meaning. It indicates that the user is currently live streaming on the platform.

Live streaming allows users to broadcast videos in real-time, allowing their followers to join in and interact with them. When a user is live streaming, a colorful ring appears around their profile picture to grab attention and notify their followers that they are currently broadcasting.

This feature has become immensely popular among influencers, celebrities, and brands who use it to engage with their followers in a more dynamic way.

Ring Color Relates to Live Filter Choice

Not only does the ring around an Instagram profile picture indicate that a user is live streaming, but it also provides information about the filter choice. The color of the ring corresponds to the filter the user has selected for their live stream.

For example, if the ring is blue, it means that the user has chosen the “Clarendon” filter. Similarly, a pink ring signifies the use of the “Aden” filter, while a green ring indicates the “Junon” filter.

This feature adds a playful and visually appealing element to the live streaming experience on Instagram.

It’s important to note that the availability of live streaming and the specific filter options may vary depending on the user’s device and the version of the Instagram app they are using. Therefore, the color of the ring and the filter options may differ for different users.

For more information on live streaming and filter options on Instagram, you can visit the official Instagram Help Center website.

How to Use Colorful Rings for Your Own Live Streams

Go Live from Your Profile or Story

If you want to take advantage of the colorful rings on Instagram, the first step is to go live from your profile or story. This will allow you to engage with your followers in real-time and showcase your content in an interactive way.

Going live is a great way to connect with your audience and build a loyal community.

To go live from your profile, simply tap on the camera icon at the top left corner of your home screen. Then, swipe right to switch to “Live” mode. You can also go live from your story by swiping right from your home screen or tapping on your profile picture at the top left corner.

Select a Filter to Match Your Ring

Once you’re live, you have the option to select a filter that matches the colorful ring around your profile picture. Instagram offers a variety of filters to choose from, ranging from subtle enhancements to more vibrant effects.

By selecting a filter that complements your ring, you can create a visually appealing and cohesive live stream.

To select a filter, tap on the smiley face icon at the bottom right corner of your screen. This will open up a list of filters that you can swipe through. Take your time to find the filter that best suits your content and enhances the overall aesthetic of your live stream.

Change Filters and Rings During Broadcast

During your live broadcast, you have the flexibility to change filters and rings to keep your content fresh and engaging. This allows you to adapt to different moments and moods, adding variety to your live stream.

To change filters and rings during your broadcast, simply tap on the smiley face icon again. This will bring up the filter options, and you can swipe left or right to explore different filters. You can also change the color of your ring by tapping on it and selecting a new color.

Experimenting with different filters and rings can add an extra layer of creativity to your live streams. It’s a fun way to express your personality and make your content stand out.

Remember, the colorful rings around an Instagram profile picture are a valuable tool for live streaming. By following these steps, you can use them to enhance your own live streams and captivate your audience. So go ahead, get creative, and start streaming!

Viewing and Interacting with Live Instagram Streams

Instagram’s live streaming feature allows users to share real-time videos with their followers. This interactive tool is a great way to engage with your favorite content creators, celebrities, or friends.

In this section, we will explore how to find and join live videos, how to comment and react during streams, and how to share broadcasts to your own story.

How to Find and Join Live Videos

Finding and joining live videos on Instagram is simple. When someone you follow starts a live stream, you will see a colorful ring around their profile picture in the Stories section at the top of your feed. To join the stream, all you have to do is tap on their profile picture.

You will then be instantly connected to their live video and can start watching and interacting in real-time.

Commenting and Reacting During Streams

Once you are watching a live stream, you have the option to comment and react to the content. To comment, simply tap on the comment box at the bottom of the screen and type your message. Your comment will appear on the screen for everyone to see, and the streamer may even respond to it.

Additionally, you can react to the video by tapping on the heart button. This will send a stream of hearts floating up the screen, showing your appreciation for the content.

Sharing Broadcasts to Your Own Story

If you come across a live stream that you really enjoy and want to share with your own followers, Instagram allows you to do so. While watching the stream, tap on the “Share” button at the bottom of the screen. This will give you the option to share the broadcast to your own story.

By doing this, your followers will be able to see the live video on your profile and can join in on the fun.

Other Instagram Live Stream Features to Use

Instagram Live stream has become a popular way for users to connect with their followers in real-time. While the colorful ring around an Instagram profile picture indicates that a user is currently live streaming, there are several other features that can enhance the live streaming experience.

Here are some additional features you can use to make your Instagram Live stream even more engaging and interactive.

Going Live with a Guest

One exciting feature of Instagram Live is the ability to invite a guest to join your live stream. This feature allows you to have a conversation or conduct an interview with another Instagram user. It’s a great way to collaborate with other content creators and provide your audience with a fresh perspective.

To go live with a guest, simply tap the “Add” button next to the guest’s username and wait for them to join.

Using Viewer Polls and Q&As

Engaging your audience during a live stream is crucial for keeping them entertained and involved. Instagram offers the option to add viewer polls and Q&As to your live stream. You can create polls to gather opinions or ask your audience questions, and they can respond by tapping on the screen to vote.

Q&As allow your viewers to submit questions that you can answer live. These features not only encourage interaction but also provide valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and interests.

Pinning Comments During the Video

When hosting a live stream, it can be challenging to keep up with the comments and questions flooding in from your viewers. However, Instagram provides a solution by allowing you to pin comments during the video.

This feature enables you to highlight important or interesting comments, ensuring that they remain visible to both you and your audience throughout the live stream. It’s an excellent way to acknowledge and respond to viewer feedback, creating a more personal and engaging experience.

By utilizing these additional features, you can take your Instagram Live stream to the next level. They offer opportunities for collaboration, audience interaction, and enhanced engagement. So don’t be afraid to experiment and make the most out of these features to create an unforgettable live streaming experience for your followers.

Instagram Live Video Best Practices

Test Out Equipment and Connections First

Before going live on Instagram, it is essential to test out your equipment and connections to ensure a smooth and seamless streaming experience. Make sure that your internet connection is stable and strong enough to handle the live video.

Check your camera and microphone settings to ensure they are working properly. By doing a quick test run, you can avoid any technical glitches during your actual live video.

Engage with Viewers Through Comments

One of the best practices for Instagram Live videos is to actively engage with your viewers through comments. Encourage your audience to leave comments and questions during the live video, and make sure to respond to as many as you can.

This not only shows that you value your viewers’ input, but it also helps to create a sense of community and interaction. Responding to comments in real-time adds a personal touch to your live video and keeps your audience engaged.

Save Important Broadcasts Before They Disappear

Instagram Live videos disappear once they end, which can be frustrating if you want to save and share your content. However, there is a way to save your important broadcasts before they disappear. After finishing your live video, tap the “Save” button in the upper right corner of the screen.

This will save the video to your camera roll, allowing you to rewatch it or upload it to other platforms. Saving your live videos can be beneficial for reference or for repurposing the content in the future.


The next time you spot a colorful ring around someone’s Instagram profile picture, you’ll know they are in the middle of a live broadcast. Using special filters for your own streams can help attract viewers and boost engagement.

Instagram Live provides fun ways to interact with your followers in real time. So go live often to build connections, showcase exclusive content, and grow your audience.

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