The lack of in-person connection due to the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed social media platforms to see significant growth through 2020. Notably, the live audio platform Clubhouse has seen rapid adoption in recent times, following which both Twitter and Facebook are building a rival. It looks like Instagram also wants to do something for its users, which is why they announced a new feature today called 'Live Rooms'.
'Live Rooms', according to Instagram, is a much-requested feature, and it will allow up to four people to broadcast live together at the same time. This is quite a departure from Instagram's live feature that only allowed users to live stream with one other person. Instagram hopes this will open up more creative opportunities in terms of live broadcast formats.
Being able to go live with more people will potentially attract more viewers. We can already see this feature being widely used by people across the globe to start a talk show or a podcast, among many other creative collaborations. Instagram noted that it'll also allow fans to buy badges to support the hosts, thereby helping them to make more money. It appears that some other interactive features like Shopping and Live Fundraisers will also be integrated into Live Rooms.
In order to start a Live Room, you will have to swipe left and select the live camera option. You will then have to add a title to the room and tap the Room icon to add guests. This will populate a list of people who have already requested to go live with you, and you will simply be able to search for other guests to add.
For safety reasons, Instagram will not let any person that's been blocked by any of the Live Room participants join the livestream. Also, any guests who have previously had their live access revoked for violating Instagram's Community Guidelines won't be able to join any Live Rooms.
Instagram's Live Room seems like a direct competition to Clubhouse, however, Live Room requires people to be on-camera. But Instagram Live Room is widely available to all the across globe on both Android and iOS, which makes it instantly more accessible than Clubhouse which is currently available only on iOS, that too on an invite-only basis.