Live Rooms: Instagram's new tool allows up to four people to go live at once

The new feature will give creators more ways to interact with their audiences and earn money, the company says

Live Rooms will be rolled out globally from March 1. Courtesy Instagram
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Instagram is doubling up on its live-streaming features by launching Live Rooms, which will allow up to four users to broadcast together at the same time.

Previously, a user could only go live with one other person on the social media platform.

The new feature, which began rolling out on Monday, will be available to all global users within one week on both iOS and Android devices.

“Going live with multiple guests is a great way to increase your reach, as guests’ followers can also be notified,” the company said in a blog post.

“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 new feature comes hot on the heels of the success of Clubhouse, the social audio-only app that allows more than 10 people to speak at once, with some rooms able to accommodate up to 8,000 people.

Despite Clubhouse’s limited availability — it’s invite-only and currently available only on iOS devices — it’s already valued at $100 million after a reported $12 million in funding.

Live Rooms also gives creators even more ways to build a business and earn money, Instagram says. 

Instagram said it is also exploring more interactive tools, such as offering moderator controls and audio features that will be available in the coming months.

Live Rooms, it added, will give creators more ways to interact with their audiences and earn money. In 2020, the company launched a feature through which viewers could buy badges for hosts.

Live Rooms was also designed with safety in mind, Instagram said. People who are blocked by any of the active participants in the Live Room will not be able to join. Guests who have had live access revoked because of violations of community guidelines also won't be able to join a Live Room.

Live hosts will have the ability to report and block comments, and apply comment filters.

“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we’ve seen people on Instagram embrace Live in different ways,” Instagram said. “We can’t wait to see what more creativity comes from this highly requested update.”