In a blog post, Instagram announced a new feature called Live Rooms, which provides the ability to conduct live broadcasts with a group of up to four people at the same time. Previously, only two people could go live together. The company hopes that the new feature will help people collaborate with other creators more.
“We hope that doubling up on Live will open up more creative opportunities — start a talk show, host a jam session or co-create with other artists, host more engaging Q&As or tutorials with your following, or just hang out with more of your friends,” the statement says.
The company also claims that doubling the number of participants will increase reach and help attract more people to live broadcasts, since each participant's followers will be able to see what is happening in the Live Room.
Instagram representatives expressed the hope that doubling the number of people that can go live will open up more creative possibilities and let users host talk shows or music sessions on Instagram, improvise with various artists, or simply chat with friends.
The company also notes that this feature will provide even more ways to build a business and make money. With Live Rooms, viewers can enjoy a variety of interactive features as well as buy badges for the hosts to show their love, while streamers can enable fundraising or sell goods through the Shopping feature. Live Rooms will be available worldwide soon.
How to start a Live Room on Instagram:
- Open the Instagram app
- Swipe left and choose the Live camera option
- Add the title of the broadcast
- Tap the Live Rooms icon
- Add your guests to the broadcast
However, Live Rooms have their own limitations. Anyone who has been blocked by one of the Live stream participants will not be able to join the Live, and if you have been blocked for violating the Community Guidelines, you cannot join any Live Rooms. Hosts will also be able to report and block comments, as well as apply comment filters. Moreover, Instagram plans to add additional moderation tools in the next few months.
Instagram added that the new feature was launched after the increased popularity of video streams during the pandemic. At the same time, Forbes notes that the Live Rooms feature was introduced in connection with the growing popularity of another social network, Clubhouse, where users can also create "rooms." In Clubhouse, more than 10 people can speak at once, and up to 8,000 people can listen to audio streams. Facebook is allegedly planning to create a similar audio chat app to rival Clubhouse.
Live Rooms on Instagram can become popular among people who are interested in Clubhouse, but cannot access it – the app is available only on iOS devices, and users can get there by invitation.